7th July is “World Chocolate Day“. I was wondering how I could relate chocolate and travel together. Thanks to my clever husband who immediately popped up with Belgium. Sometimes husbands really come up with good ideas I must admit 😉
What comes in your mind instantly when you think of chocolate? Surely for most, it must be Belgian Chocolate. Raise your hand if you are a Belgian Chocolate lover too.🙋🏻♀️ I am. So for all the Belgian Chocolate lovers this post is dedicated to you all. Find some interesting facts below.
1. The Belgian chocolate industry is almost 400 years old.
Belgium’s association with chocolate goes back as far as 1635. By the mid-18th century, chocolate had become extremely popular in upper and middle-class circles, particularly in the form of hot chocolate. Belgium first started to export more chocolate than it imported in the 1960’s, with exports of “Belgian chocolates” growing exponentially since 1980.
2. 1912 – The invention of the Belgian ‘praline’
Jean Neuhaus Jr. innovates his grandfather’s creation by replacing the medicine with a decadent chocolate cream ganache center, creating the first filled chocolate. He calls it ‘praline’, and it becomes an instant success.
Louise Agostini, the wife of Jean Neuhaus Jr., designs an elegant gift box to protect the chocolates securely and attractively. This box, called the ‘ballotin’, filled with the finest chocolates instantly becomes the ‘must-have’ gift. The gift of caring is born.
A praline is a form of confection containing at minimum culinary nuts and sugar; cream is a common third ingredient. Pralines made in Belgium are usually soft-centered confections with a chocolate casing. They are distinct from the nut and sugar sweets popular in France and the United States which are sometimes known by the same name.
3. Belgium – A major chocolate manufacturing center.
Chocolate plays an important part in the Belgian economy, and there are over 2,000 chocolatiers in the country, both small and large. Today, chocolate is very popular in Belgium, with a total production of 661,673 tonnes produced each year, and widely exported. One of the most famous chocolate companies in the world, Godiva, makes its home in Brussels. Belgian chocolatiers generate annual sales of approximately $12 billion.
4. Biggest Consumers of Chocolate.
Consumption of chocolate per person in Belgium is 6 kg. Wow.! They definitely have an appetite for chocolates. Amused..!! Coming from the land of chocolate masters, Belgians can definitely afford to have their chocolate and eat it too.
On this note, I am signing off to relish my Belgian chocolates. What are you waiting for? Forget your diet and dig in some of your favorites.
Wishing you all a Happy World Chocolate Day..!!