Belgium: the Kingdom of chocolate

Belgium: the Kingdom of chocolate

Belgium is considered the absolute leader in the production of chocolate, in this country there are over three hundred manufacturers of sweet treats, much of it is made by hand in factories.

BRUSSELS, 1 Jan. Alexander Shishlo. Belgium in our days is known not only exclusive Beers, French fries, biscuits for coffee “spekulos” (Spéculoos) and when you bake waffles”minutes” (Gaufre), but, of course, chocolate.

To recognize Belgian chocolate in the commodity rows of Russian stores is not difficult: it presents mainly chocolates shaped like sea shells and skates.

Chocolate master from Belgium, for its part, believes the Russian market is very promising and it is no coincidence that regularly participate in the Moscow Salon of chocolate.

World leader

Belgium is called the absolute world leader in the production of sweet treats — more than 170 thousand tons annually, the equivalent weight 850 “Boeing-747”.

As it is generally recognized experts, Belgian chocolate, about 70 thousand tons of which have killed residents of the Kingdom, meets all the classical requirements. Hence the epithets intoxicating gentle, exquisitely fragrant, incomparable exotic…

The transformation of Belgium into one of the world centers of chocolate production originally contributed to the African colony of Congo, from where the Kingdom began to import cocoa beans.

Manufacture in 1912 the world’s first chocolate candy with fillings (praline) finally secured for Belgium a status of “sweet Kingdom”.

Today it manufactures a wide range of pralines. Take for example, chocolates are made of dark chocolate with green pepper, Jasmine stuffing, pistachios, orange zest, baby flower buds and other delights. Particularly successful recipes are kept strictly secret and passed on from generation to generation. However, Belgian chocolatiers are far from resting on their laurels, they are constantly in search of new taste “notes” and “scales”.

So, it is in the Belgium were first issued stamps not only with the smell and taste of chocolate. It was obtained by the addition of adhesive in the core of a brand of essential oils cocoa taste which is manifested licks.

Quality Belgian chocolate products made on an industrial scale, constantly guarantee the label Аmbao. It certifies that the sweetness made exclusively from cocoa or cocoa butter.

A bit of history

In Belgium chocolate appeared relatively recently — in the mid-18th century. It happened with the filing of the Spanish conquerors, who opened for the local nobility the taste of the drink cocoa with vanilla and sugar, leading to the beginning of chocolate production.

Today in Belgium there are over three hundred manufacturers of chocolate, with a significant part of it is still made by hand on small family factories.

Manufacturers provide the products of more than two thousand shops selling only chocolate products. According to connoisseurs of chocolate, it should be bought not in the Mall, but directly from small producers.

Well sweet production in Belgium is the town Brugge.

The Belgians claim that the recipe for the chocolate Swiss competitors have borrowed it from them. In any case, it is known that wonderful beverage made from cocoa is the mayor of the Swiss city of Zurich brought it home after a trip to Brussels in 1697.

However, in the glorious history of chocolate production in Belgium is not without its “fly in the ointment”. The Belgian Congo in the 1880-ies because of a dispute between the colonialists and the local population on the plantations of the cocoa bean was a field of fierce confrontation. Defenders that gave grounds to assert that the history of Belgian chocolate is partially written in blood.

The way to eternity

Until the mid-19th century chocolate was considered a medicinal remedy. In Brussels, Jean Neuhaus, whose name later gave birth to the world famous Neuhaus brand, opened the first pharmacy shop in which, in addition to baking, selling chocolate.

After the death of Neuhaus, his business passed into the hands of the successor of Frederik, who became the founder of his own candy factory.

In 1912, the son of Jean Frederic gained worldwide fame by making the chocolate filling, praline. It is noteworthy that with the filing of the wife of the pastry chef had the idea to package the chocolate and present it as a respectable gift.

Chocolate and medicine

Belgian chocolatiers were the first to produce chocolate that does not harm tooth enamel.

As reported by TV channel RTL, the secret is that in the manufacture of sweets instead of regular sugar was used natural carbohydrate isomaltulose. It has almost the same taste as regular sugar, but does not emit acid that can destroy tooth enamel. In addition, a chocolate master from Belgium replaced used in the production of chocolate milk powder milk proteins.

Association Toothfriendly International has assigned to the chocolate products of new generation label “Tooth in joy” (Happy Tooth).

Sweet ambitions

Belgian chocolate manufacturers urged the authorities of the European Union to assign made their chocolates-pralines status geographically protected names.

As reported by the Brussels online newspaper EUobserver, shokoladnica from Belgium concerned by the increasing competition from producers from countries outside the EU that impose misleading consumers, supplying to markets candy, simulating the Belgian. On the packaging they are often accompanied by inscriptions “Belgian recipe” or “Belgian.”

The regulations of the European Union in the production of chocolate allowed to use up to 5% of vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter. A Belgian chocolate factory and chocolatiers can boast a one hundred percent cocoa content-the oils in the composition of chocolate, which greatly improves its taste.

Use dessert

Experts have found that chocolate is extremely favorable for the human body, in particular for the heart. Sweet treat contains magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin b and other nutrients.

However, experts advise not to consume chocolate in large quantities, bearing in mind that 100 grams of sweets contains 550 calories. Therefore, moderate consumption will benefit.

Interestingly, the original chocolate as a beverage was intended for consumption by men. It was believed that it gave them strength and courage.

After the cocoa beans have added brown sugar and vanilla before chocolate flavor were not able to resist and ladies.

Chocolate fondue

In conclusion, for lovers of sweets recipe chocolate fondue.

To cook it you only need to melt a bar of chocolate, preferably Belgian, to put in a lot of fresh fruits, the Gulf of whipped cream. Dessert for new year’s table is ready!