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Chocolate letters are a type of candy shaped like various letters of the alphabet. These letters are usually pure chocolate but sometimes contain nuts, raisins, or crisped rice. They are popular Dutch treats that are commonly given during the Sinterklaas, or Santa Claus, season. There are many different sizes of letters available, and the one given can depend on the age of the child.
Dutch chocolate letters are usually in Egyptienne font. This is because this type of font is decorative but does not contain any thin lines that would break easily. It is also easy to distinguish one letter from the next. Capital letters are normally used rather than lower-case ones.
These treats first became popular in Holland in the early 1900s. This was when the tradition of leaving a bread dough letter on top of a stack of gifts was replaced with leaving a chocolate confectionary. Many believe changes in the way cocoa beans were processed during that time contributed to this trend.
Chocolate letters may be enjoyed any time of the year, but are most often given during the season of Sinterklaas. This season ranges from mid-November through December 5. Gifts are typically exchanged on Sinterklass eve, so letters may be given at this time. They could also be left in stockings or shoes when Sinterklaas makes his nightly rounds. Employers also give this confectionery to their employees, often allowing them to enjoy eating them during breaks or holiday parties.
Both white and dark chocolate can be used to make chocolate letters. Some varieties may have nuts, rice, or fruit added to them. Letters are typically solid rather than hollow chocolate.
There are many different sizes of Dutch chocolate letters. The smallest ones can be anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/4 ounces (42 to 64 grams). Medium letters are normally around 4 3/4 ounces (135 grams), and larger treats are approximately 7 ounces (198 grams). The smallest letters are normally given to young children, and the larger ones are given to adults. In some cases, children might be given larger letters if they have been especially good that year.
Although chocolate letters are popular in Holland, they are exported to many different parts of the world. In some countries, they can be found throughout the year and not just during the traditional Sinterklaas season. These treats can be enjoyed by people of all ages no matter what country they live in.
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