Belgium Chocolate is famous all over the world, it is considered to be of a gourmet standard to normal chocolate that most people eat
everyday. It is of a high standard,using quality ingredients and is still made by hand, using traditional methods and equipment in many shops across Belgium. Many of these specialized shops in Belgium attract thousands of visitors every year to tour, sample the delights and see how these methods are still practiced today plus buy souvenirs.
Here we take a glance at the history behind the creation and a look at a few of the manufacturers who help make the delicious confectionery what it is today available to chocolate lovers all over the world.
The history of Belgium chocolate goes back centuries to when the cocoa bean was introduced when Spain ruled the nation, it was first discovered as a drink rather than confectionery.It was enjoyed by many and Belgium’s love of chocolate was sent into a craze to find supplies.It was found in Africa where by King Leopold took advantage and gave unlimited supplies of the cocoa beans to Belgium.Also the mayor of Zurich enjoyed the drink so much he introduced the idea to Switzerland. Today Swiss chocolate is the main competitor, even though the first chocolate shop was opened in Belgium by a Swiss immigrant called Jean Nehaus in Brussels in 1857.
Jean Nehaus arrived from his native Switzerland and opened his first apothecary shop in Brussels,time and effort was spent inventing and preparing new delicacies and eventually regular pharmaceuticals products made way for them.In 1912 the chocolate bonbon or praline was invented by his grandson Jean Nehaus ll.
Later after being taken over by Jean’s son-in-law the creation of the pralines the discovery was made by his wife that the paper bags used to wrap them were crushing the chocolate, a gift box was developed later in 1915.Later with specialised decoration and gift wrapping, the company expanded appearing across the country and abroad.
Nehaus is a manufacturing company of luxury Belgium chocolate,biscuits and Ice cream.Nehaus exports worldwide and sells to over 40 countries, all products are still made to this day in Vlezenbeek near Brussels.
Godiva Chocolatier is a manufacturer of premium chocolates and founded in Belgium in 1926, was purchased by Turkish Yildiz Holding, owner of the Ülker Group, early in 2008.Godiva owns and operates more than 450 retail boutiques and shops around the world.
In addition to chocolates, Godiva also sells truffles, coffee, cocoa, biscuits, dipped fruits and sweets, “Chocolixir” beverages, wedding and party favors and other items arranged in gift baskets. Godiva’s signature package is the Gold Ballotin (French for “small, elegant box of chocolates”). Godiva also produces seasonal and limited-edition chocolates with special packaging for all major holidays. Godiva also has license agreements for the production of ice cream, cheesecake, coffee pods and liqueur that comes in several chocolate-related flavors.
Guylian is a Belgian chocolate manufacturer founded by Guy Foubert in 1960. The company takes its name from the combination of Foubert’s first name (Guy) with that of his wife, Liliane.
Guylian is perhaps most famous for their production of chocolate sea shells, with its variety of praline fillings. It is alleged that, due to the hand made nature of the chocolates, every Guylian is unique, as was famously advertised by their 2002 T.V. commercial campaign. However as disclosed by the head chocolatier, Guylian comes in 4 different flavors with different pralines attributed to the different flavors. Guylian has been the major sustaining sponsor of Project Seahorse since 1999.
Leonidas Confiserie SA is a chocolate producer with an international presence, based in Belgium. The company’s focus is pralines (chocolate shells with soft fillings, called Belgian Chocolate in English-speaking countries); it also sells marzipan, solid chocolates, and other confections. The company is named after its Greek founder, Leonidas Kestekides, a confectioner who moved from Anatolia to the United States in the late 19th century. The logo used on Leonidas chocolates shows an effigy of the Greek warrior Leonidas, King of Sparta.
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