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Episode 414 - Holiday S.O.S.
Valentine Chocolates
Sweet hearts...
Like all of you I have a heart-y appetite for St. Valentine's Day. And what better way to satisfy your cravings than to indulge in some choice chocolates? In preparation for the notorious fourteenth day of February, I looked to my favourite truffle expert, Karol Dulmanis, of Leonidas Famous Belgian Chocolates. Karol and I chatted about adding some sweetness to this very special day.

First off, a beautiful chocolate platter Karol assembled for us. It displayed different varieties of chocolate: square and circle shaped, light and dark coloured, with whipped cream, chocolate mousses, caramel, and hazelnut interiors. Karol says they're referred to as pralines because of their soft centre.

One of the nice things about Leonidas chocolates are the different designs of the squares, the insignias that represent the craftsmanship of the chocolates. Each one tells a different story, as it indicates the different flavours. As a kid, I remember opening a box of chocolates and looking at the legend card inside to see what types of chocolates they were. Of course, the pickings at that point were always a bit slim, thanks to my sisters having gotten to them first… (Don't worry, I forgive you girls!)

In my opinion, Leonidas Chocolatier's pièce de résistance is their champagne truffle. Each truffle has dark chocolate mousse on the inside, white chocolate on the outside, and a dusting of icing sugar on top. The fact that they are hand made conjures up images of people in Belgium taking their time to create each perfect, love wish.

Karol also showed me some foil-wrapped chocolates. Filled with liqueur, each one has a label on it telling you what is inside: Grand Marnier, Vodka, Cognac, and etcetera. Part of the charm of these particular chocolates is the wrapping. Colourful and enticing, you can't wait to tear one open and pop it into your mouth. Be careful not to eat too many at once, though!

Karol pointed out that packaging also plays a major part in the whole Valentine chocolate experience. Velvet heart-shaped boxes are the perfect to fill with chocolates. At a place like Leonidas you have the option of custom-making your own box. You can select each and every truffle yourself and the people at the shop will assemble the box for you. It's an original presentation that holds a lot of promise.

As the middle of February approaches, get out there to your favourite chocolate shop and assemble an original expression of your love for your loved one. After that, everything will be so sweet.

Special Thanks: Karol Dulmanis; Leonidas Famous Belgian Chocolates; 120 Adelaide Street West, Toronto, ON; Telephone: (416) 362-4439