What’s Inside that Chocolate?


Valentine’s Day is almost here. It’s time to start shopping for the perfect gift. Nothing says Valentine’s Day better than a large heart shaped box filled with assorted chocolates.

Everyone loves chocolates, but these large assortments have always frustrated me! I never know what’s inside of each candy. I prefer the nuts, but I always choose a nougat. My sister used to stick her finger in the bottom, and then put it back if it wasn’t what she wanted.

As my Valentine’s gift to you, I decided to do a little research on how to know what’s inside the chocolates, and how to tell them apart.

The bad news is that there is no universal system. Every chocolatier has their own method. Some candy companies are good enough to put a chart inside the box to label the candy. Be sure to check your box (including the box lid) for one.

If you aren’t that lucky, the best way to find your favorite chocolate is to consider the shape of the chocolate.

In general, round candy will be filled with either crème or a cherry.

Square shaped chocolates are usually caramels.

Thin rectangles are usually mints or honeycomb while thicker rectangles are probably nougat.

If you prefer nuts (like I do), look for a cluster shape with an uneven top. Sometimes you can see the outline of peanuts or an almond.

Coconut clusters are pretty easy to identify because they look like little haystacks covered in chocolate.

Those few chocolates that are wrapped in gold or silver foil are usually solid chocolate. And why are they wrapped in foil? Just to look pretty.

No matter which chocolate you prefer, no one is happy to get chocolate on their clothes. Fudge sauce, hot cocoa and chewy caramels and cremes can all make a mess. Since this is the Swan Cleaners blog, I feel obligated to at least mention how to care for your chocolate stains.

If the clothing is washable, first take a spatula and scrape off any hardened chocolate. Next, apply a pre-wash stain treatment, and let the item sit. After about 10 minutes, wash according to care label instructions. If the stain remains after washing, repeat these steps before drying. The dryer will set the stain.

If you don’t want the hassle, or don’t trust your spotting skills, Swan is equipped to handle your washable items as well. We’ll begin with the proper spotting agents, and then wet clean your garments according to the instructions. Your clothes will be returned to you cleaned and freshly pressed.

If the stain is on silk, wool, cashmere or any other dry clean only fabric, please do not do anything to the stain. Resist the urge to rub, blot or touch the mess. Instead, take the item to a professional drycleaner like Swan as soon as possible. Be sure to point out and identify the stain so we can properly treat it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your brief tutorial on chocolate selection and stain care. By now, you’re probably craving a big piece of chocolate. I know I am. The good news is, now you won’t have to stick your finger into the candy to find your favorite one!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Send your questions and comments to Andra Gillum at andra@swancleaners.com

My name is Andra Gelpi Gillum. I’ll be your blogger. I’ve been around the clothing care business most of my life. That’s because Swan Cleaners president and owner, Paul Gelpi is my step-father. While you may have talked politics or sports around the dinner table, we discussed dry cleaning and clothing care. I also worked in the business for many years from counter person as a teenager, up to Communications Director and Vice President after college. I now stay home with my kids, and work as a free-lance writer. I am thrilled to be back writing for Swan Cleaners. I look forward to learning and sharing all sorts of facts and insider information about fashion and clothing. What woman doesn’t love clothes? Of course, we won’t leave the men out. Our topics will apply to men and women. We all want to look our best! At the start of each month, we’ll feature a fashion or fabric hot topic. Please check back soon to stay in the know on what to wear and how to care for all of your beautiful clothes!