The legendary history of Belgian chocolate
Belgian chocolate, which is known the world over, is one of the jewels of Walloon gastronomy. So if you love chocolate, you’ve come to the right place!
© WBT - Emmanuel Mathez
From cocoa bean to chocolate
Having set sail in search of gold, the Spanish conquistadors of the 16th century discovered the cocoa bean which, at the time, was a form of currency and a sign of wealth. Hernán Cortés was the man responsible for introducing Europe to chocolate.
Very soon after, it was blended with sugar and, out of this mixture, chocolate as we know it today was born.
By the late 19th century, all of Europe had fallen in love with chocolate. And in Belgium, the first bar of chocolate was produced in 1840.
The Belgian praline
The word ‘praline’, which comes from French, was originally a sugar-coated almond known in Belgium as a dragée. It did not take long before the famous Belgian chocolatier Jean Neuhaus covered it in chocolate, and in 1912 the chocolate praline was born.
For many years, chocolate has been a high-end product, which is now rated by connoisseurs. And so the big names of Walloon origin, such as Galler, Darcis and Edouard, have become ambassadors for Belgian chocolate abroad.
Fancy tasting chocolate and seeing how it’s made?
Visit our Chocolatiers section: you can’t beat learning about the history of chocolate, and watching a master chocolatier demonstrate how a praline is made, before your very eyes, then tasting it for yourself.
Or how about a chocolate pampering session?
In our Experiences section, see the chocolate-based beauty treatments on offer just about everywhere in Wallonia.