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CHOCOLATE: Oakwood shop imports Belgian specialties for holidays

An Oakwood chocolate shop that is the sole American location of a venerable Belgian chocolatier is importing several special candies for the holidays, including a chocolate bar lauded as one of the nine “Best Chocolates in the World” by a Conde Nast Traveler writer.

Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier, 2510 Far Hills Ave., was founded a year ago by Francoise Walusis and her husband John Walusis of Washington Twp., and her brother-in-law Brian Walusis of Miami Twp. Francoise Walusis is a native of Belgium who came to Ohio 20 years ago to attend Wittenberg University.

The Oakwood Madame Delluc shop is — for the next couple of weeks — the only U.S. bricks-and-mortar store for Mary Chocolatier, founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1919. The company produces its chocolates using original recipes developed by founder Marie Delluc in the 1920s. A second Madame Delluc store is scheduled to open later this month in Upper Arlington in suburban Columbus.

Among the new or notable holiday items at the Oakwood shop include:

• Melo Cakes: a buttery cookie topped with a fluffy marshmallow, enrobed in milk or dark chocolate;

• Mathilde: a new chocolate just released in Belgium, with a filling of salted butter caramel in a dark chocolate shell, topped with a whole pecan;

• Truffe Champagne Rose: a truffle with a dark chocolate mousse center mixed with Marc de Champagne, in a strawberry chocolate shell, dusted with powdered sugar;

• St. Nicholas chocolate statues in dark, milk and white chocolate as well as his donkey, offered in milk and dark chocolate.

•São Tomé Chocolate bars, with 72 percent dark chocolate. In an article entitled “Where to Find the Best Chocolate in the World,” Conde Nast Traveler writer Edna Ishayik singles out the Belgian chocolatier Mary as one of the world’s nine best. The bar sells for $10.95.

Scheduled to arrive in the coming days are Napolitain Noir Earl Grey, individually wrapped dark chocolate squares infused with Earl Gray Tea; and Mary Christmas, dark chocolate shell filled with a caramel ganache and hazelnut pieces.

In addition to the Conde Nast Traveler shout-out, Madame Delluc was mentioned favorably in a column published earlier this year in “goop,” an online newsletter/web magazine launched by Gwyneth Paltrow.

In a column entitled “What Women Really Want for Valentine’s Day,” Kate Wolfson, Senior Editor for goop, listed several gift items that she said are all about the “grand romantic gesture.” Among those items listed was the Madame Delluc box of chocolates, “Ballotin 18 Pralines.”

For more information about Madame Delluc, check out its web site.

>> RELATED: Oakwood chocolate shop scores national shout-out

>> RELATED: Oakwood chocolate shop to open 2nd store

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