There are very few people who have not heard about Belgian chocolates. The most famous chocolates in the world are Swiss and Belgian. However, Belgian is the most famous hand crafted chocolate. This is the chocolate that is regarded as the most sought after as a gift. Belgian stands for top quality. These exquisite chocolates are exported to all the four corners of the earth where eager customers are eagerly waiting to consume them as a special treat.
In times gone past it was only the wealthy who could afford to consume chocolate. Then it was mainly taken as a drink. The coco seeds would be thoroughly roasted and ground like coffee. Then it would be mixed with spices and a drink would be made. Both chocolate seeds and spices were extremely expensive and completely out of the reach of ordinary people. In fact, coco seeds were so valuable they were used to buy precious gold.
It is not known exactly who came up with the idea to sweeten the original bitter but spicy coco drink. It is known that the practice of sweetening coco started amongst the European nobility. This eventually filtered down to the ordinary masses and the taste for sweet chocolate has never changed. It was long after this that Belgium got to know about chocolate. In fact, it was as late as the nineteen hundreds. This seems hard to believe because Belgian chocolate is so excellent it seems like they have been doing it for hundreds of years. It is hard to imagine Belgium without chocolate at any time.
Anyone who loves Belgian chocolate knows that what makes this chocolate different is the praline. The traditional shape of Belgian chocolate is the shell. Belgian chocolate is so finely textured it melts in the mouth. All the shells are perfectly shaped and made by hand. The praline is what keeps the chocolate so light and soft. Therefore it is placed in specially designed packaging that is known as ‘ballotin’. It is the ‘ballotin’ and the ‘praline’ that are responsible for the world famous name of Belgian chocolates. They are called ‘ballotin de praline’. More modern chocolate makers also use liqueur and nuts for fillings.
This country is famed for its chocolate confectionary that people come from all over the world to attend chocolate making courses. This is much the same as people attending cooking courses in France or cheese making courses in Switzerland. There is a great deal of interest in high quality hand crafted chocolates. Many people have gone on to start their own businesses making Belgian style chocolates.