Last week I spoke with Lindt Premium Chocolate, Master Chocolatier, Ann Czaja on picking out the perfect chocolate gifts for the holidays and how to melt away stress levels with nothing other than (or better than) CHOCOLATE!
Candace Rose: What is a Master Chocolatier?
Ann Czaja: Well, a Master Chocolatier is a trained expert in the art of chocolate making and at Lindt I have a really unique role, I get to develop and test new flavors, I get to just come up with wonderful new recipes and I also get to educate people about premium chocolate.
CR: 70% of women experience stress during the holidays, leading many of us to reach for a piece of chocolate. What's in it that has such a calming effect?
AC: Well, I think it really has to do with it melts in your mouth, it's a wonderful sensory experience and it brings back a lot of memories from when we were younger.
Lindt Chocolate – Lindt.com
CR: Do you have any tips for finding the perfect gift this holiday season.
AC: I do, Candace. As our studies said, women were very stressed out so they said that finding the right present, wrapping the presents and of course entertaining really contributed to their stress levels, so we suggest make a gift list, have people tell you what they would like to receive, so you can really hone in and not waste a lot of time out there shopping and fighting the crowds. Premium chocolate is a wonderful gift, it's an affordable luxury and everybody loves it.
CR: I'm a huge fan of your truffles, what is your personal favorite?
AC: Well, that changes! Right now during the holidays we have a wonderful extra dark peppermint truffle that is amazing, so that is my current favorite and we actually have it in wonderful gift bags, that was another thing that women said stressed them about wrapping and finding the perfect boxes. So if you go the premium chocolate route, you have these wonderful packages that are already ready to give.
CR: We usually purchase your truffles at Costco in bags, do they come in gift sets for the holidays?
AC: We do have a lot of gift sets and if you can't find them at your local stores, if you visit us online at Lindt.com it will give you a store locator or you can actually order them through the internet.
CR: Can you tell us more about the "What's At The Center Of Your Dreams" giveaway?
AC: Sure, in specially marked packages of the Lindor truffles, you'll find a sticker that will say "it's the center of your dreams sweepstakes" and there might be that dream truffle in there which is an instant 5,000 win.
What's At The Center Of Your Dreams Lindt Sweepstakes – Lindt.com
CR: Do you have any other entertaining ideas?
AC: I do, yes, we have a beautiful tray of truffles that looks like I spent hours on when really what they are is our Lindor truffles, I unwrapped them and I rolled them in some melted chocolate and then rolled them in toppings. We have chopped walnuts, ground candy canes, we have sugar or cocoa. This really customizes the truffles, it's beautiful for your dinner parties or for holiday gatherings, but it's a master chocolatier shortcut, so it's a wonderful tip. Another great idea is just simply fill a jar or a bowl with Lindor truffles, this will be your centerpiece and it's edible! This will give you time to spend more time with your family, which is what the holidays are about.
The finished product…YUM!
CR: What are some ways to stay centered and stress free during the holiday season?
AC: Well, one thing I recommend in addition to the tips I just gave you is take time for yourself because we forget about that. Have a truffle, and take time to recenter and refocus just by taking that 5 minutes of me time.
Many thanks to Lindt Master Chocolatier, Ann Czaja for her wonderful tips on how to stay stress free with Lindt premium chocolate for the holidays! For more information please be sure and visit Lindt.com