FAQ

1. I dream of having my own Leonidas shop. Could I ever do that?

Yes, you can! Leonidas has some 1,400 sales outlets around the world. There are 350 in France and 350 in Belgium, and we are constantly looking for new ambassadors for our brand. You'll find all the information you need by clicking on "Joining Us". Follow the steps and you'll find out all you need to know to make your dream come true, whether you want to become a customer-reseller or a customer-owner/operator of a Leonidas sales outlet.

2. Are Leonidas products well known in Belgium, the country of chocolate par excellence?

When a recent survey asked 20,000 Belgians what they thought about different brands, Leonidas was outright winner in the chocolate category. In fact, 1 in every 3 top quality Belgian chocolates sold comes from Leonidas - and 55% of Belgians say that we are the most highly-rated chocolate maker in the country. Not bad, in the most chocolate-obsessed country in the world.

3. Is there a Leonidas store near me?

There's always a Leonidas near you. You'll find confectioners with the Leonidas logo everywhere, no matter which country you travel to and no matter which city you find yourself in. The 'Shop Locator' page on this site will help you find the Leonidas shop(s) nearest you. You'll then see exactly where they are on a map, view their address, phone and fax numbers and website address. Most shops even have a photo of their premises so that you can see what they look like before you go.

4. Can I order Leonidas products online?

For the moment Leonidas chocolates can only be ordered online in France on www.leonidas.fr.

5. What's the best way to eat a Leonidas chocolate?

Chocolate should involve every one of your senses: sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell. Each chocolate should look smooth and shiny, with a rich brown colour. The smell of sugar should not be too apparent. A perfectly made chocolate should crack when you first bite into it. If a praline starts to melt in your hand before you bite into it, this is a sign that it contains a lot of cocoa butter, a very good sign. Allow the chocolate to start to melt in your mouth - it should be smooth, without any hint of graininess. Two or three bites should release the secondary aromas in the filling. Finally, push the chocolate gently against the roof of your mouth to allow the flavour to linger on your palate. Above all, take your time to enjoy the experience. After all, we took our time making it.

6. Do Leonidas products contain vegetable fat?

From 3 August 2003, a European Directive has allowed chocolate manufacturers to use vegetable fats (instead of cocoa butter) in their chocolates, albeit under certain very strict conditions. This Directive caused a lot of controversy among manufacturers and consumers, but at Leonidas we have a very clear and simple position on this issue. Leonidas only uses 100% cocoa butter in its chocolates and fillings. The statement that "Leonidas is 100% pure cocoa butter... and 100% quality" is more true now than ever.

7. Does the Leonidas range include Kosher chocolates or chocolates that are suitable for vegetarians or vegans?

Unfortunately, we don't currently have Kosher certification for our products. However, some of our products are included in a list of authorized products published by the consistory of Paris, you can consult this list on: http://www.consistoire.org/453.Epicerie-sucree

Some of the products in the Leonidas range are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The salesperson in your Leonidas outlet will be able to advise you.

8. Where's the best place to sample Leonidas chocolates and other products?

Your nearest Leonidas shop is the obvious choice, but we're also opening exclusive chocolate lovers' havens called Chocolate&Café. They are ideal places for true chocolate lovers to indulge their senses and experience chocolate and coffee at its very best. As well as Leonidas chocolates, you can try the full range of Leonidas products, including ice-cream, preserves and cakes. All complemented by excellent coffee from Bewley's of Ireland. If you love chocolate, it's an experience not to be missed!

9. Are the Leonidas products Halal?

A list that identifies the products that do not contain alcohol is available on request at info@leonidas.com

10. Can I eat Leonidas products without having to worry about allergic reactions?

It all depends on what type of allergy you have. Some Leonidas products contain allergens (gluten or nuts for instance). If you have a food allergy, simply send us an e-mail and we'll be happy to tell you which chocolates are safe for the allergy you specify. In short:

  • Eggs and egg derivatives (albumin)
    Leonidas products contain no eggs, except for our gellies and our lemonslices and orange slices.
  • Gluten
    Gluten is a molecule found in cereals such as wheat, barley, oats and their derivatives such as malt and starch. Some Leonidas products are made with ingredients that contain gluten and that may contain traces of gluten.
  • Dried fruits
    Many Leonidas products contain nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, etc.). All Leonidas product can contain traces of dried fruit.
  • Milk (lactose, milk proteins, etc.)
    Dairy products are naturally key ingredients in the manufacture of some Leonidas products. Leonidas quality assurance procedures demand that between manufacturing cycles, i.e. between different types of chocolate, the equipment will be properly cleaned and rinsed. Despite the implementation of good manufacturing practices, traces of milk proteins may be found in some of our dark chocolates. The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFA) have identified milk proteins as a food allergen. However, methods of analysis have recently become available to manufacturers that allow milk proteins to be detected in minute proportions of parts per million. For the benefit of its customers, Leonidas prints the following statement on all its packagings at the end of the list of ingredients for its dark chocolate "Peut contenir des traces de protines de lait" (may contain traces of milk proteins).

11. How do I best store store Leonidas chocolates?

If you want to enjoy the Leonidas chocolates containing alcohol or butter cream at their best, we recommend storing them in a cool place and eating them cool (straight from the fridge). Our pure chocolates and those with pralin, ganache, cream, liqueur cream or almond paste fillings, and our truffles are best stored at temperatures of between 15 and 18 C
Care should also be taken not to store the chocolates and chocolate in general near foods or substances that have a strong odour, since chocolate absorbs odours very readily.

12. Do Leonidas pralines contain GMO's? (genetically modified organism)

The company that supplies Leonidas with its couverture chocolate guarantees that the soya lecithin used in the manufacturing process is exclusively from soya from plantations that are strictly controlled to ensure they do not contain genetically modified soya and is PCR negative.

As for glucose and products containing glucose, our suppliers guarantee that the glucose is either produced from starch from non-genetically modified wheat or that controls are in place to ensure that no genetically modified maize is used in the course of manufacture.

13. How long can I store Leonidas chocolates?

To ensure enjoying the flavour to the full, Leonidas chocolates should be eaten within eight days of purchase. Likewise, Leonidas chocolate bars have a use-by date of six months in order to guarantee quality and authenticity of flavour.

14. Why do some chocolates have a 'bloom'?

There are two types of bloom, fatty bloom and sugar bloom. Fatty bloom is a smooth film on the surface of the chocolate which you can't really feel. Sugar bloom looks and feels like tiny grains of sugar.

Fatty bloom is caused by fats migrating to the surface of the chocolate, or by them re-crystallizing. This can be caused by the chocolate layer being too thin, poor tempering, the filling migrating, or the chocolate being stored at too high a temperature.

Sugar bloom is caused by the recrystalization of the sugar in the chocolate. This happens when condensation forms on the chocolate due to a temperature difference and high humidity.

Chocolate should always be stored in dry conditions at between 15 and 18C. That's precisely how we store all our LEONDIAS chocolates to ensure that they reach you in the best possible condition.

15. Where does chocolate come from?

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the tropical cacao tree, theobroma cacao. The cacao tree was named by the 17th century Swedish naturalist, Linnaeus. The Greek term theobroma literally means "food of the gods". Cacao beans were used by the Aztecs to prepare a hot, frothy drink which had stimulant and restorative properties. Chocolate itself was reserved for warriors, nobility and priests. The Aztecs valued its supposed ability to confer wisdom and vitality. A fermented chocolate drink was also used in their religious ceremonies. The sacred concoction was associated with Xochiquetzal, the goddess of fertility. Emperor Montezuma allegedly drank 50 goblets a day. The Aztecs paid their taxes in cacao beans, 100 cacao beans could buy a slave.

16. Should I say Pralines or Chocolates?

Praline is the Belgian name for chocolates, both in French and in Flemish. A praline is a Belgian chocolate made of delicious Belgian chocolate enclosing a mouth-watering filling. The English, however, use the word "praline" for what we call Pralin, i.e. a mixture of nuts, sugar and chocolate, usually used as a filling.

17. Is chocolate good for your health?

Chocolate is known to have anti-depressant qualities, which could be linked to the small quantity of serotonin found in chocolate. Serotonin is a substance which is found naturally in the brain and affects our moods. Other substances contained in chocolate help you stay awake and alert, help your muscles work, stimulate the appetite, and help mental activity and alertness. Remember that a good quality chocolate only contains cocoa, pure cocoa butter and sugar.

18. Does chocolate cheer you up?

Yes it does. Chocolate peps up your body and your mind. It has a lot of energy in a very small volume because of its main nutrients such as carbohydrates (sugars) and fatty acids or lipids. Your body absorbs the sugars rapidly to give you a quick energy boost. It processes the fatty acids (the cocoa butter) more slowly to give you energy over an extended period. The mineral salts, oligo elements and vitamins in chocolate also make it a good regenerative food for the brain. Its theobromine stimulates the nervous system and boosts concentration.

19. Is chocolate good for lovers?

The Aztec Emperor Montezuma, Casanova, Madame De Pompadour and the Marquis de Sade certainly all thought so. Although it's not really an aphrodisiac, one of the substances it contains, phenylethylamine, causes your body to react in the same way as it does when you're in love. So chocolate may not make you a great lover, but you can't help loving chocolate!

20. Does chocolate increase cholesterol levels?

Quite the opposite in fact. Once it has been absorbed by your body, cocoa produces 72% unsaturated fatty acids which actually reduce your cholesterol level and clean your arteries. It contains only 20% saturated fatty acids - the kind which aren't so good for you. There's very little cholesterol in dark chocolate made from 100% cocoa butter, like that of Leonidas. In milk chocolate, the cholesterol varies from 15 to 18mg per 100g which is pretty insignificant.

21. Does chocolate contain magnesium?

We all need magnesium in our diets to promote good neuro-vascular function, but our normal food intake barely provides the minimum. The good news is that chocolate is rich in magnesium.

22. Does chocolate make you live longer?

It may just be a coincidence, but some of the world's oldest people, like Jeanne Calment (1875-1997) and Sarah Knauss (1880-1999), were passionately fond of chocolate. Jeanne Calment habitually ate a kilo of chocolate per week until her physician forced her to give up sweets at the age of 119, three years before she died. You can draw your own conclusions, but one thing we are sure of is that life without chocolate certainly feels a lot longer!