Fine gourmet chocolates made by Godiva Chocolatier. These are some of the tastiest (and most commercially-successful) bon-bons made, with deliciously smooth chocolate in a variety of shapes, packaged in richly decorated gold foil boxes. If you want to please that special chocolate-loving someone, you usually won't go wrong with a gift of Godiva (unless they are a real chocolate snob).

Joseph Draps, a chocolatier in Brussels, Belgium, opened a shop there in 1926 and named it after Lady Godiva, the Lady of Coventry who, according to legend, rode naked through town on horseback in about 1057 on a bet with her Lord, so that he would lessen the tax burden on the populace.

Mr. Draps devised a formula that resulted in extremely smooth chocolate, and started Godiva's tradition of elegant molded shapes and beautiful packaging. Godiva chocolates became known throughout Europe as some of the best luxury chocolates available.

Godiva chocolates were first sold in department stores in the United States in 1966. Godiva opened its own chocolate boutique in New York City in 1972. In about 1976, my dad got a gift box of Godiva chocolates from a business associate for Christmas. To this day, it remains the most awesome box of chocolates I have ever laid my eyes on (or been allowed to sample!) This thing was four layers thick, with about 30 chocolates on each layer. Each layer was different, and they was a little map on the lid that told you what everything was. On the cover, embossed in gold foil, was a depiction of the beatiful and naked Lady Godiva, her embarassing bits discreetly covered by her long flowing hair.

Today, Godiva chocolates are available in just about every department store in the US. They also manufacture a chocolate liqueur, and a line of extremely rich and delicious ice creams in the following six flavors: Pecan Caramel Truffle, White Chocolate Rasberry, White Chocolate Macadamia Toffee, Belgian Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle (vivid's favorite!) and Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle.