Chocolate is the king of Belgian gastronomy, well known for its finesse and exceptional quality.
Originally, the praline is an almond or hazelnut coated in angel-hair vermicelli. The Duke of Praslin's chef invented this recipe in the 17th century. Chocolate became increasingly popular during the following centuries, and someone soon had the idea of using it to cover the praline-flavoured sweets. However, it was not until the beginning of the 20th century that the recipe for the Belgian praline was perfected by the confectioner Jean Neuhaus (our photo). He also invented the box for holding the chocolates in without crushing them (they were previously presented in paper cones). Today, several big names in Belgian chocolates share the praline market: Godiva, Galler, Mary and Côte d'Or, official suppliers to the court of Belgium. There are also Léonidas and Jeff from Bruges.
Belgium is home to many renowned chocolate factories.
Chocolate is a Belgian speciality that is difficult to resist.
As is the case with all specialities, and given the number of varieties, you cannot go on a trip to Belgium without bringing back a box of chocolates.