Chocolate to Belgium is as Paella is to Spain. A delicious, unique recipe. There is no other place where chocolate is as famous and prestigious as in Belgium. Moreover, it is the favourite food of tourists who come to the city of Brussels, going no further, and bringing in thousands of euros each year with their custom.
There are certain properties of Belgian chocolate that make it so unique.
It has a fine structure and high cacao content, greater than the majority of foreign products, and the selection of beans has always been of high quality. The Belgian chocolate sector is very diverse and Belgian chocolatiers are particularly creative. In no other place in the world will you find such a great variety of new, and more importantly delicious, flavours and combinations. In 2007, the ‘Code of Belgian Chocolate’ was developed. This code guarantees that Belgian chocolate actually comes from Belgium. They export their high quality chocolate everywhere. Two thirds of both industrial chocolate and finished products are sent abroad. And it should be noted that the world’s largest chocolate factory is in Wieze, Belgium.
Taking these characteristics into account, it is no wonder that, in the country of chocolate, there are certain companies that have struck gold producing and selling this product. Some of the most profitable are the following:
It is one of the most exquisite chocolate brands in the world. Its origin dates back to 1926. Joseph Draps, whose first shop opened near the Grand Place, founded a chocolate company in the heart of Brussels. Since then, the franchise has many more shops; 17 in Belgium, and more around the world. And the best part of it all: the quality of their original chocolates has not faltered in the least throughout the years. Perhaps for this reason it is the most expensive chocolate brand in all of Belgium.
Renowned worldwide and with more than 1,250 chocolate shops spread over 50 countries, Leonidas guarantees the freshness and quality of its artisanal Belgian chocolates. According to the inhabitants of Brussels, you can find affordably priced chocolate in their stores, however it is not usually the best. The company makes a special effort to keep their chocolate affordable for the middle classes. However, celebrities have shown great interest in the chocolate brand, and that has increased the value of this brand without the need for exorbitant prices.
If you are looking for history as well as Belgian chocolate, Neuhaus is, without a doubt, most appropriate. Their original shop of the Royal Galleries Saint-Hubert, in Brussels, is presumed to be the shop where the world’s first chocolates were created nearly a century ago. This chocolatiers was founded by Jean Neuhaus in 1857. Neuhaus gave a great deal of care and passion to the making of chocolate. The best thing is their enormous variety, with over 60 different shapes and fillings such as praline, gianduja, ganache or cream.
With headquarters near Leige, this is one of the most well-known brands of chocolate in Belgium. Founded in 1976, the reputation of this company has been growing ever since and now it can be found in countries like Japan and Saudi Arabia. They only use natural ingredients of the highest quality in the manufacturing process of their products. They are renowned for their shaped chocolate bars of different flavours and coloured wrappers.
Closely following its competitors, Mary Chocolatier has become one of the most delicious chocolate brands in the world. It has been described as the establishment that makes the best artisanal chocolates in all of Belgium. Mary was founded in 1919, when Madame Marie Delluc opened her first establishment in the Rue Royal in Brussels. Ultimate success arrived in the hands of the Belgian royal family, who gave recognition to Mary, making it into the official supplier of chocolate of the Royal House.
With the best ingredients and most sophisticated recipes, Bruyerre has developed a range of artisanal chocolates famous for their fillings, including hazelnut praline, ganache and gianduja. Bruyerre has no limits and exports around the world.
This chocolatier is characterised especially because it makes ecological truffles and chocolates. It is famous for the flavour of its chocolates and its social commitment. It has won many prizes for its originality, including one for ‘Europe’s most ecological micro-company’, awarded by the European Commission.
To sweeten the afternoon in Brussels or any other Belgian city, we hope this article has been a very tasty dish.
Translated by Lauren Murphy