The founder of Li-Lac Chocolates, George Demetrious, studied the art of chocolatemaking in Paris in the early 1900s. As a young man, in 1923, he opened his first Li-Lac Chocolate shop in the west village of NYC, where he applied his French training, perfected his recipes and cultivated his many loyal customers from his Christopher Street factory and chocolate shop.
The history of French chocolate
The French have a long history of chocolate making, and they are credited with creating the first chocolate bonbons in the early 19th century. At the time, chocolate was a luxury item that was only available to the very wealthy.Chocolate bonbons, often sold in beautiful gift boxes, became a way for chocolatiers to showcase their skills and creativity, and boxes of bonbons quickly became popular among the French Aristocracy. Typically filled with a variety of ganache, pralines, cremes or liqueurs, they are often decorated with intricate designs and patterns,making them not only delicious, but a beautiful treat. Ganache is made with cream, chocolate, and often other flavorings, such as vanilla, nuts, or fruit. Liqueurs are often used to add flavor and complexity to chocolate bonbons.
French style chocolates are unique in that they generally contain more cocoa butter and less sugar. Cocoa butter makes chocolate more luxurious, richer, creamier and smoother. French style chocolate boxes became increasingly popular in the late 19th century, and were especially popular at the turn of the 20th century. This was due to the increasing availability of chocolate and affordability in the late 19th century due to advances in transportation and production methods; thereby making chocolate bonbons more accessible to a wider range of people. Chocolate shops also became increasingly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and offered a wide variety of chocolate products.
The rapidly growing middle class in the late 19th century also created a new market for luxury goods, such as gourmet chocolates. Boxes of French style chocolates were seen as asymbol of sophistication and luxury, and were often given as gift to be enjoyed on special occasions.
Today, Li-Lac Chocolates are still a popular treat. They’re enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds and are a popular choice for gift giving from hostess gifts to holiday gifts, and special occasions.
Li-Lac’s French Assortment chocolate gift box was inspired by Mr. Demetriou’s training as a chocolatier in Paris in the early 1900s. These French-style gift boxes contain a variety of milk and dark chocolate squares filled with delicious centers including:
- French Cream
- Lemon Chiffon
- Hazelnut Truffle
- Chocolate Fudge
- Maple Fudge
- Peanut Butter
To this day, everything is still made with high-quality ingredients and traditional cooking methods, and handmade in small batches for exceptional quality and superior taste. And while they may no longer be considered a pure luxury item exclusively reserved for royalty, chocolate gift boxes continue to be a symbol of sophistication and quality.