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Neuhaus Nirvana
By Andrew Ritchie

Long before they were a hit with celebrity chocolate lovers, the little white box with the gold "N" logo on the lid made its appearance at my family's dinner table nearly every Valentine's Day. The delectable chocolates are available in boutiques across North America, including one near our home in Ottawa. It soon became a tradition on Valentine's Day to give and receive a box of Neuhaus chocolates after dinner.

"Neuhaus is the aristocrat of chocolate," company president Jordan Covell told Entertainment Weekly in December. "They are the most decadent, rich pieces of chocolate that anyone can find."

And he isn't kidding.

They are lavishly presented in a sturdy box, wrapped with silk ribbon and decorated appropriately with festive decals to mark any occasion: Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter. The chocolate's themselves are large, plump examples of bite-size perfection, and are made with only the freshest, most natural ingredients. This is REAL chocolate!

They are not exactly inexpensive, but they are well worth the money to mark a special occasion. A box of six truffles can cost as much as $20, depending on the variety you choose. You will never forget that first bite, however, and you will want to make these morsels of heaven last forever.

The History of Neuhaus

In 1857, Jean Neuhaus left Switzerland and opened a pharmacy shop in the Galerie de la Reine, Brussels. He sold marshmallows, liquorice and pieces of chocolate. Jean soon concentrated more on chocolate making and with the help of his son, Frederic, founded the "Confiserie et Chocolaterie Neuhaus-Perrin" in 1895.

In 1912, Jean Neuhaus,the grandson, created the first bite-sized filled chocolates, which he named "Pralines". Jean and his wife, Louise Agostini recognized the need for protective packaging for the delicate chocolates. When chocolates were purchased they were placed in paper cones which resulted in bruised and scratched chocolates. Together they developed and designed the original box, known as the "ballotin", with the Neuhaus signature cream and green colors and Neuhaus logo. It is this same packaging that you will receive your Neuhaus chocolates in.

In 1923, Jean's son-in-law, created such prestigious and exclusive pralines as the Caprice and Tentation. Today, Neuhaus is continuing the tradition, the quality, and the prestige of its creations, by a production process still largely based on traditional methods and the choice of top-quality ingredients.

----Visit the
Neuhaus website for more about these incredible delights!

-Andrew

Comments? Write to Andrew

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