Belgian Chocolate Production
Although ingredients such as cocoa beans and sugar are grown abroad, for the sweet to be considered Belgian, the actual production of the chocolate must take place in that country. Belgian chocolate is world renowned as being some of the best in the world, and has been made as early as the 17th century. One source even adds that it is an important part of Belgium’s culture and economy. Their association with chocolate may have started in 1635 when the country was under Spanish occupation. By the mid-18th century, it had become extremely popular among the upper and middle class, especially in the form of hot chocolate. The early 20th century was vital to the beginnings of Belgium’s reign as being one of the largest chocolate exporters in the world. At that time, large quantities of cocoa were imported from Africa. Belgians are also know for their version of praline, which is a hard shelled chocolate exterior with liquid filling.