Chocolate is the word that melts the hearts of all sweet lovers. Chocolate of Belgium, pristine quality with sinful texture and exceptional taste. Belgian chocolates are amazing. The way they are made is just exceptionally classy and sophisticated. The taste is amazing, the surface is smooth as butter, and the bitter-sweet taste harmonizes with your taste buds. The Belgian economy depends on the chocolate industry, which significantly serves the economy.
Despite being a small country, this place’s hearts and culture are rich and gigantic with love and chocolates. From salted caramel to tasty truffles, they have the best Belgian chocolates and the best chocolate brands, which you can find all over the world, and also some unique ones which are only available here in Belgium.
No matter which country you go to, ask about chocolate. It is Belgian chocolate everywhere. Let’s see what makes the world’s best Belgian chocolate so special.
The most significant part of making the chocolate is a cocoa bean or cacao bean; they are the most important part of making the chocolate, serving as the very base of it. They are found in Africa, and while making Belgian chocolates, the finest ingredients are used, which includes best-quality cocoa beans.
Cacao beans are found in the equatorial belt and on the Theobroma cacao tree. These trees need shade, and these are short trees, so sometimes the seeds are sown near trees, providing them with better shade. These need hot tropical temperatures with ample amount of rainfall. The soil in which these trees are grown also needs to be able to drain the water at a higher percentage.
There are different types of cocoa beans available, and some of the major types are mentioned below:
A rare and exclusive delicacy, these beans are super rare and are quite vulnerable to environmental predators. These beans are difficult to maintain and have a substantially low yield compared to the other, approximately 1-3%. The bitterness level is really low, and the aroma is just breathtaking. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the best chocolate served by the best chocolate brands is made from Criollo.
These are the best, and if they are used in your chocolate, the connoisseur will be stupefied by the taste, smell, texture, and everything with the chocolate made from Criollo beans.
These are very weak and not resistant to the diseases surrounding cacao beans. So you must be extra careful when managing them and constantly regulate the condition and everything. These are very few in percentage, but they have the best aroma of the three mentioned.
Belgian chocolate is the epitome of chocolates, and the quality ingredients make them starling. When tasted, the chocolates they make from Criollo beans will mesmerize your very being.
The Belgian chocolate industry focuses on the best ingredients and taste, representing not only the ingredients and flavors but also the history and culture of their food and everything.
These are abundant and are used in making all kinds of chocolates worldwide, regardless of the country or region.
They have higher production rates because of their excellent resistance to different diseases, which cause the loss of cacao beans worldwide. These are used in all sorts of dark chocolate bars, milk chocolate, and Belgian chocolate made with the best quality ingredients. The Belgian chocolate brands ensure the chocolate you receive consists of the finest ingredients.
With a high concentration of cocoa butter, this cocoa bean is a cross of Forastero and Criollo, which give it hybrid properties from the cacao beans, including increased resistance with that aroma Criollo is famous for making it the prime choice above Forastero, at least. The production is 12-15%.
These are slowly replacing Forastero, and in some decades, we might find them everywhere because of their rich aroma, excellent resistance, and great production rate.
Cacao beans play a significant role, but their quality also depends on the kind of region they were brought up in at the same time, the soil, the way they receive sunlight, and all types of weather conditions play a factor in determining the way the quality of the bean is going to be. Belgian chocolatiers use the finest ingredients to get you the best chocolates, and the way they prepare them is also superb, which we will see further.
Fair Trade Chocolate
The market rate for farmers who are selling and doing all the labor for cacao beans is relatively low in comparison with the work they put in, so generally, Fairtrade chocolate is the one which has cacao beans produced by the farmers who are paid equally or fairly depending on the work they put in and everything rather than the market price which is low. Thus making it better for the farmers to get better money for their work. Some people have small farms where they grow their trees for cacao beans. In Belgium, cacao beans are either imported from Ghana or Africa.
Procedure for making Belgian Chocolates
- The storage area containing cacao beans should have better air conditioning and plenty of space. The air should be clean, and no strong odors should be there for the beans may absorb them.
- The beans should be cleaned properly, the dried pulp should is removed along with the unwanted materials on the beans, and strong vacuums should be used to extract all the leftover materials which are not needed.
- The roasting part comes after this. The beans, after they are cleansed, are roasted. These beans are roasted at around 250-degree celsius. The timing for roasting depends on the kind of bean you are using. The aroma and the color of the bean change significantly, and it starts to feel closer to the real thing we want.
- Then, later on in the process, the shells are removed using different machines to get the center part of the bean.
- A process of conching is used which distinguish the different types of chocolates from each other, especially the Belgian chocolates.
- This process makes the chocolate of Belgium better, with a better and finer texture.
- The nibs, extracted and processed from the above, are then subjected to other refining processes to get cocoa butter, which is melted, which is also called chocolate liquor.
- The refining process is where the Belgium touch comes in. Different Belgian chocolate brands all have their chocolate liquors in different varieties. The chocolate liquor differentiates one chocolate from another, the Belgian chocolates are smooth, and the texture takes you over.
- Repeating mixing for some hours to get the desired texture, you get the Belgian touch here. Also, you can get caramelized cocoa nibs here with multiple grinding processes through different liquid phases.
- Cocoa is separated from Cocoa butter, which is further used to make milk chocolates and other chocolates based on the added fine ingredients.
Belgian Chocolate: Secret Ingredient behind its Taste?
Belgian chocolate is the best; the smoothness melts you away. The difference between Belgian and swiss chocolate brands for swiss chocolates is also renowned in terms of texture and ingredients. Still, it brings out more flavors of cacao beans, making it a better choice for Belgian chocolatiers.
Smaller Belgian chocolatiers also take care of the minute details regarding the ingredients and how they will make sweets with chocolate. They focus one at a time, even on a single sweet treat, because chocolate is a part of their culture. They respect it with their whole heart.
Belgian chocolate Brands
If a connoisseur were to judge the quality of the chocolate bars or the oh-so-delicious chocolate truffles, they would forget to believe and eat it. That’s how good they make it. You can also say they might be one of the best Belgian chocolate brands. The art of chocolate making is in the hands of the chocolatiers of Godiva. They might be on a list of expensive Belgian chocolate brands, but every piece crafted from them should satisfy your lust for Belgian chocolate. They stand at the top in quite many ways making the best Belgian chocolates.
Jean Neuhaus, the doctor who gave the idea, or jean Neuhaus jr who took the idea from his grandfather when he saw that when kids were refusing to eat medicines, then jean Neuhaus wrapped those medicines in chocolate which gave jean Neuhaus jr the idea of Belgian praline, a hard chocolate shell with a softer filling and thus paving the way for this chocolate brand and Neuhaus chocolates.
The Neuhaus history is quite interesting because the doctor thought for the children and used an apothecary store for the grandson’s purpose. They thought about putting delicious fillings instead of medicine, which makes it sound like a movie.
This is a premium brand, and with its history and class, Neuhaus chocolates are one of the best Belgian chocolates you should try.
These also provide premium chocolates, but they are more in the category of affordable Belgian chocolate. They are amazing and have the finest ingredients, but at the same time, you can get them at a comparatively lower price than those mentioned above. They are available online, so you won’t be disappointed if you try them.
This is Sparta. No, it’s not, but the attitude and taste kick you into the abyss of flavors of chocolate. The taste mesmerizes your internal with all the melodies that describe a bar of amazing chocolate, something you should look forward to.
This chocolate brand has a history and has its stores available on most platforms. Leonidas chocolates are high-quality chocolate and use the best raw materials to give you the best flavor out of chocolate.
The varieties offered are quite a number, and they use pure cocoa butter, which is unique to them. They serve delicious chocolates with types and quality ingredients, a must-try place for a chocolate lover.
If you visit Belgium and try different chocolate shops, you’ll often come across this brand. This one is easily available and makes all sorts of chocolate bars and milk chocolates for satisfying your thirst for chocolates. The logo comes from Ghana, as they get their cacao beans from there. Before this, they got it from the Gold coast.
The chocolate shops have them. The first shop you visit will have them. It’s tasty, the company is quite old, and they maintain their legacy of making exquisite chocolates, a must try.
The ones who served the royals, the King and the queen of Belgium, had their cake made by them. These well have royal taste, and you should get that chocolate as soon as possible if you have a chance. The place is beautiful. The chocolate is amazingly rich in culture and the finest of ingredients. A must-try!
Founded around 2000, this place, even though recently opened, has made its mark in the Belgium market for chocolate with their fair trade chocolates and considering the crowd getting you gluten or sugar-free chocolates. These new style chocolates from Belgium are in no way underestimated. They are equally tasty and have a premium taste that you expect from a Belgian brand.
Chocolate shops to visit in Belgium
Maison Pierre Marcolini
Situated in Brussels, this makes luxurious chocolates with premium ingredients. The shop looks classy and beautiful with a nice vibe.
Situated in Brussels, this one is just spectacular. The quality is at its best, and the taste is amazing, serving you the best hot chocolate and all kinds of varieties.
Frederic Blondeel Chocolate Factory and Shop
Situated in Koekelberg, this one offers a creative outlook regarding how you are introduced to their taste. The flavors are just amazing. The white chocolate, Praline, and truffles are superb, and the place is beautiful. This place deserves a visit.
Chocolaterie Luc Van Hoorebeke
Situated in Gent, this is a beautiful place, and the family who runs the business has been doing it for quite some time. The site serves authentic chocolate with an aroma that might hypnotize you. The ingredients involved are local, and it’s just that place you should pay a visit.
Situated in Antwerpen, this place has nice chocolate sculptures you can see through the windows, a spectacle to look out for. It’s a beautiful place. Everyone should go to this place. Visit here.
Belgian chocolate, without a doubt, is the best. The chocolate shop and the chocolate maker there are just spectacularly amazing. The chocolate brands there produce the best Belgian chocolate, and if you are a chocolate enthusiast, you will love it more than anything you have ever tasted. From chocolates filled chocolates and chocolate bars, Truffles, and Belgian praline, everything makes your heart skip a beat with every bite. The famous Belgian chocolates are not at all overhyped. They live up to their name completely. Any connoisseur who is asked to judge these beautiful chocolates will give them maximum points. If you ever get a chance to try and experience the famous Belgian chocolate and visit all the shops with culture and history, go for it.