S.A. Confiserie Leonidas is a Belgian chocolatier founded in 1913 by a Greek man who settled there following the 1910 Brussels World Expo. The founder, one Leonidas Kestekidis, had competed in competitions for confectionary at various European expositions throughout the pre-war and inter-war years. In 1935, the company adopted a seal showing a portrait of Leonidas, King of Sparta, which now adorns most of their confections. The history of the company is rosy story of continued family ownership and company growth that warms one’s heart in this era of European unification.

The confections are produced using fresh cream and butter, and no preservatives. They are kept in shops for no longer than one week, being delivered by air to countries outside of Europe. In North America, Leonidas chocolates are available in some twenty shops in twelve cities.

    The Leonidas array of confections include:
  • Butter Creams
    • Manon Café* - coffee butter cream topped with a roasted hazelnut, covered with creamy white chocolate (their signature confection)
    • Eve - vanilla butter cream covered in dark chocolate
    • Lingot Lait - vanilla butter cream covered in milk chocolate
    • Irresistible* - strawberry butter cream
    • Mystere - pistachio butter cream
    • Desiree - pineapple butter cream
  • Pralines (filled with a paste of hazelnuts, almonds, and chocolate)
    • Noisette Masquee - praline filling, topped with a roasted hazelnut
    • Marron Au Café* - coffee, chestnut paste, and chocolate
    • Louise - praline filling and burnt sugar
    • Gianduja* - an ingot of praline filling, wrapped in a square of foil
  • Ganache
    • Antoinette - chocolate ganache with brandy
    • Poise - chocolate ganache with Grand Marnier
    • Europe - chocolate ganache with rum
  • Cordials
    • Cerise* - a cherry in kirsch, sealed in dark chocolate
  • Perles (truffles, a line introduced in 1998)
    • Amaretto - covered in milk chocolate
    • Whisky - covered in dark chocolate
    • Champagne - covered in milk chocolate and dusted with powered sugar
    • Cacao – covered in milk chocolate and dusted with cocoa
    • Fine Orange - covered in dark chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate
    • Pistachio – covered in white chocolate and drizzled with dark chocolate
    • Rhum – covered in white chocolate and chopped nuts
    • Coconut – covered in dark chocolate and coconut shavings
  • other confections
    • Candied Orange Peel* coated in bittersweet chocolate
    • Marzipan in the shapes of fruit
    • ”demitasse” squares of milk or dark chocolate

Sources for information:
The Chocolate Mousse, 1800 M Street NW, Washington, D.C.
www. leonidas-chocolate .com
www. leonidas-us .com

* denotes a personal favorite either discovered instantly upon first bite or arrived at after rigorous tasting