What s so Great About Belgian Chocolate?

You ve probably heard a lot about Belgian chocolate. For many, it s the gourmet standard to measure all other types of chocolate confection by. Even Swiss chocolate got its start in Belgium, when Swiss chocolatiers imported the recipes they later altered. The thing that make Belgian chocolate unique is the quality inherent in it.

Most people in America are simply familiar with basic standards of chocolate such as a Hershey's Chocolate Bar. Definitely a great product but there is a different experience to be had by going with an authentic Belgian chocolate. This type of chocolate which has been around for ages and is treated as a special treat should be. It is rich and delicious and represents true quality out of all the chocolates found in the world. When you think high end chocolate think about getting yourself some amazing Belgian chocolate.

Belgian chocolatiers adhere closely to traditional techniques and the use of high quality ingredients. Even in the current world of automated mass production, most of the Belgian chocolate out there is made using older equipment, by hand, in small dedicated shops. These small chocolate makers are popular with tourists on a visit to Belgium, much like wine and cheese tastings in France.

Belgian chocolate has been a popular choice since the eighteenth century, but it started really catching on in the early part of the twentieth century. That s because Jean Neuhaus create a special new type of process in 1912, using a special chocolate variety couverteur as a solid shell for what he referred to as pralines. US readers might think of pralines as a sugary, caramel flavored treat, but these pralines are more like what we d call bonbons.

Belgian chocolate pralines can contain many different creams and nougats, flavored with fruit, different chocolates, coffee, nuts, and more. Neuhaus had little competition, since few other confectionary makers could keep up with the complicated flavors he created. Many of the great Belgian chocolate producers currently in business are famous for making gourmet pralines from Neuhaus to Godiva.

One of the big advantages that Belgian chocolate making has over that made elsewhere is the way couverteur is stored before use. During the course of making chocolate, cocoa beans are ground, then mixed with cocoa butter and sugar. The mixture is then smoothed through the application of heat, called tempering.

Most companies that make chocolate confections get their couverteur in a solid form that they must then reheat to use that can change the temper of the chocolate. Since chocolate received by most Belgian chocolatiers hasn t cooled, it stays in better condition and retains more of its aroma than types that have already cooled.

Good Belgian chocolate might be expensive, but if you ve ever tried it, there s no comparison between it and an ordinary candy bar. Belgian chocolate is a fantastic special indulgence, and a wonderful gift. If you re wondering what all the fuss is about, try some, and see whether these great products live up to their reputation.

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About The Author, Chris Alleny
Chris enjoys writing about all kinds of food but especially chocolates. For more information on quality Belgian chocolates visit http://www.ultimatechocolateshoppe.com