Ghent Birthplace of Some Belgian Chocolates

By sandra. Filed in Belgium, Chocolate, Europe, Flanders, Food, Shopping  |  
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There must have been great chocolate DNA in their blood because famous Belgian chocolates brands Daskalides and Leonidas were created by family members from Ghent, Belgium.

Leonidas Daskalidès or Leonidas Kestekides (1876 – 1954) was born in Turkey and he was the founder of Leonidas chocolates in Belgium making pralines (chocolate shells with soft fillings) famous.

In 1910, he was a member of the Greek delegation from the US competing at the 1910 World Fair in Brussels. He won a bronze medal for his chocolate confection, and a gold medal for his patisserie. On a return visit in 1913 ( World Fair in Ghent), he met a young woman from Brussels and settled permanently in Belgium. He opened tea-rooms in Brussels, Ghent and Blankenberge, and the business expanded from there.

In 1935, Basile Kestekides, the founder’s nephew succeeded the founder and created a whole range of new chocolates, including the well-known ‘Manon’ of Leonidas. Still to this day the most popular chocolates are the manon, manon café, gianduja, dressé noisette, manon blanc and manon blanc café.

There are 350 Leonidas shops in Belgium and and almost 1500 throughout the world in over 50 countries. Leonidas  is still privately owned by family

In 1931, a Greek couple Daskalidès-Kestikidès opened a confectionary in the centre of Ghent. Home made pralines by Daskalidès become famous and their tearooms and chocolate shops grew.

During the sixties his son Jean advised him to devote himself to the production of luxury pralines for connoisseurs which led them to conquer markets abroad. In 1987, Daskalidès was  awarded in France the prestigious Laurier d’Or de la Qualité from France thanks to the exceptional quality of chocolate, the beautiful shape and the delicious taste

Dr. Jean Daskalides became famous for his chocolates under the names Daskalidès and Leonidas. He was also a gynecologist, film director, jazz musician, hospital director and lecturer at the University of Ghent.

You can buy Daskalides and Leonidas chocolate in Ghent or anywhere in Belgium or nowadays, all over the world.

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