Like so many of our modern holidays, Valentine’s Day is rooted in Roman history and named for an early Italian saint (San Valentino), so it seems fitting to mark this celebration of love in all its forms with a sweet treat from Italy. Family, friends, and sweethearts alike will be delighted to unwrap our chocoholic’s dream Collezione San Valentino stuffed with artisanal Tuscan chocolate!
La Molina Tuscan Chocolate
Based in the small Tuscan town of Quarrata just outside Pistoia, La Molina has been producing hand-crafted chocolate for the past two decades – a blink of the eye in Italy’s millennia-long timeline but enough time to establish the brand as one of the premier names in Italian luxury chocolate.
This young yet prestigious company was founded by two brothers, master chocolatiers Massimiliano and Riccardo Lunardi, along with artist and designer Riccardo Fattori and entrepreneur Elisabetta Cafissi. Together, they embody La Molina’s motto “Con gli occhi e la bocca” (“With eyes and mouth”) that expresses the equal importance of flavor and aesthetics in the uniquely sensorial world of chocolate.
The Lunardi brothers create exquisite limited edition pralines, bars, dragées, spreads, and other delicacies from cocoa imported from Madagascar, Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Ghana. They are so choosy about their ingredients that when, for example, the specific farm in Piemonte where they source their hazelnuts has depleted its stores, the brothers halt production on hazelnut bars until the next season.
Riccardo Fattori designs the striking packaging, inspired by the personal chocolatier to Marie-Thérèse of Austria, queen consort of King Louis XIV of France. Little is known of this Spanish servant beyond her nickname of “la Molina”, derived from the whisk-like utensil (“molinillo”) she used to prepare hot chocolate. With the company name and cameo logo, La Molina sought to honor the centuries of humble chocolatiers who have come before.
Elisabetta Cafissi, instead, spearheaded the renovation of La Molina’s unique praline-inspired headquarters that houses both the offices and open-plan chocolate workshop. Located just up the street from the 14th-century Medici Villa La Magia, this unusual domed building was restored to its original 1970s design and today is open to visitors for tours.
Collezione San Valentino
With the guidance of our go-to gourmet chocolate expert Elena Carradori from Dolceforte in Florence, we’ve created a love-themed Valentine’s Day chocolate gift box that will satisfy the chocoholic you hold in your heart. Here are the luscious delights packed with care and shipped directly from Italy:
Heart-shaped Belgian-style pralines: Make your sweetheart smile with nine heavenly pralines, including three blond chocolate filled with salted caramel (3), three dark chocolate filled with mocha gianduja, and three ruby chocolate filled with raspberry.
Molisnack mini chocolate bars: Eight different flavors to please all palates in this package of 24 bite-size bars, including three each of dark chocolate gianduja with hazelnuts, milk chocolate gianduja with hazelnuts, salted gianduja with hazelnuts, white gianduja, pistachio chocolate, raspberry and white gianduja, and milk chocolate gianduja with salted almonds and peanuts.
Vintage-style cocoa tin: Warm up on a brisk winter evening with pure unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder (350 grams) packaged in an elegant tin for gourmet hot chocolate.
Classic dragées with a contemporary twist: A rich update on a timeless favorite, these certified Piedmont hazelnuts are covered in blond chocolate for 350 grams of heaven.
“I Love You”, “Love Flowers”, and “Love Child” Napolitains: These chic boxes of 12 napolitains each are a showcase for both La Molina’s sleek packaging and unbeatable quality. Bring some sugar to your honey’s coffee break with a mix of milk chocolate and cinnamon squares (I Love You), dark chocolate and vanilla squares (Love Flowers), and blonde chocolate squares (Love Child).
“I Love You” gianduia spread: If your boo turns up their nose at Nutella, they need to try this delectable gourmet hazelnut spread that cuts the sugar and boosts the fine cocoa and hazelnuts to new heights of flavor.
If you’re not sure what some of the above chocolate terms mean, here’s a helpful guide:
Praline: Praline means different things in different countries, but Italians generally produce Belgian-style pralines with a firm chocolate shell around a soft or liquid filling.
Dark chocolate: A firm, slightly bitter chocolate containing cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar or other form of sweetener but no milk or other dairy products.
Milk chocolate: A softer, sweet chocolate candy containing cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar or other form of sweetener, and milk or other dairy products.
White chocolate: A sweet chocolate candy containing cocoa butter, sugar or other form of sweetener, milk or other dairy products, and vanilla. The lack of cocoa solids produces an ivory rather than brown color.
Blond chocolate: Caramelized white chocolate with a rich, toasted flavor. Also called caramel chocolate or golden chocolate.
Ruby chocolate: A pink-tinged chocolate candy invented in 2017 and made from the Ruby cocoa bean containing . It contains cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar or other form of sweetener, and milk or other dairy product and the slightly sweet-and-sour taste is reminiscent of berries.
Gianduja: A soft, sweet chocolate candy made from combining dark, milk, or white chocolate with at least 30% hazelnut paste. Invented in Turin in the late 19th century.
Chocolate dragée: A round confectionary with a hard chocolate candy shell encasing a nut, piece of dried fruit, or sweet chocolate or flavored paste.
Napolitain: Also known as Neapolitans or Naps, these small chocolate squares or rectangles measure about an inch long intended to be served at the end of the meal with coffee.
How to Order Your Valentine’s Day Italian Chocolate Gift Box
It’s not too late to order our select La Molina chocolates in a beautiful San Valentino gift box! Place your order by Sunday, February 7th and you can have this heavenly surprise delivered directly to you by Valentine’s Day. Just visit our dedicated page here to order online: Collezione San Valentino