Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Come and get them!"

Always on the look out for tasty chocolate even when I should actually be looking out for Balkavas or Kataefi. I am in Greece after all.

In Athens, against the backdrop of the Acropolis, I spot a chocolaterie: Leonidas. Aha, I thought, time to check out Greek chocolate. I'm in the middle of picking out an assortment to fill a little golden box when I notice "Fresh Belgian Chocolates" written on it in fine script. The first time I ever groaned at discovering Belgian chocolates. I quickly recovered from the disappointment of not having found Greek chocolate and finished filling my box.

I have spartan knowledge of Leonidas so I decided to find out more. Leonidas was a Spartan King. Leonidas Kestekides was a Greek confectioner who immigrated from Anatolia to America in the late 1800s. In 1910, at the World Fair in Brussels he was already winning awards for his chocolates. Belgium has a reputation for producing the world's finest chocolates but it was a young woman in Brussels that he fell in love with and later married that kept him there permanently. Alors, c'est le meilleur de mondes possibles: bonjour chocolat multiculturel!

Alors, c'est le meilleur de mondes possibles: bonjour chocolat multiculturel! So, it's the best of all possible worlds: hello multicultural chocolate

The title of today's post is a quote found under the bronz statue of Leonidas at the site of the Battle of Thermopylae. "Come and get them!" refers to what the Spartans said when the Persians asked them to put down their weapons. (

La photo: The three surviving chocolates jostled around in their golden box in my suitcase. Right after this photo was taken there were no more survivors. Octobre 2009.

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