Koi, the Portland Community College student heroine of my upcoming novel, Dream Eater, has a serious addiction to coffee and chocolate (wonder where that came from…hmmmm?). At one point in the novel, she is stressed out from the usual college issues– kidnapped family members, murderous professors after her blood, you know, the norm–and wishes for a piece of Verdun’s Pistachio Gianduja.

Koi is lucky enough to live in a city with a vibrant chocolate (artisanal) culture: Portland, Oregon. But luckily, Verdun ships 🙂

Seattle Writer Alicia Arter writes:

These candies are made in Beirut, Lebanon, and are expensively dressed for their jet-plane journey to Portland in foil wrappers that make each one shimmer like a jewel itself.

If Lebanon seems like a strange location for a French-style chocolate factory, history explains why it’s not, says Hamoody Houdroge, Verdun’s owner. The French occupation after World War I introduced French foods, customs, and laws to the Lebanese. The cultural change was so pervasive that Lebanon’s first language is Arabic; its second is French. The French may have gone home, but the chocolates remain.

I can tell you that the pistachio gianuja is a creamy, nutty experience unlike any other I’ve had. You should definitely treat yourself with this…or someone else at Valentine’s Day 😉