Why Belgian Chocolate is so famous
Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium and the center of the European Union but, what most people don’t know, the chocolate capital of the world. Ever since the Belgian Jean Neuhaus created the first praline a hundred years ago Belgium has been home of the chocolate business. There are over 300 chocolate producers in the Belgian capital and many chocolate lovers claim that the best chocolate in the world comes from Belgium.
Europe’s history of chocolate goes back to the 16 th century when Spanish explorers brought cocoa beans home from Mexico. At that time cocoa beans were traded and served as a form of money. When Belgian King Leopold II occupied Congo and made it a Belgian colony thousands of tons of cocoa were shipped home and spurred the growth of the chocolate industry.
Belgium produces 170 000 tons of chocolate a year, sold in over 2000 shops located throughout the country. Every Belgian consumes over 11 kg of chocolate a year.
Belgian pralines are so famous mostly because of the quality of the cocoa that is used. They are a mix of cocoa, butter and milk in different amounts. The hard chocolate shell and the creamy fillings make pralines a delicious treat.