Archive for 'Belgium'

21
Mar

Leonidas

by admin, in: Belgium
Leonidas

If there is one chocolatier that represents Belgian Chocolate, it is definitely Leonidas. The company, Leonidas Conifeserie SA, was founded by Leonidas Kestekides, a Greek confectioner who moved to the United States in the late 1800s.

Kestekides traveled to France in 1900 to participate in the international food fair as an exhibitor. Ten years later, he represented Greece in the World Fair held in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, where he was awarded the bronze medal for his chocolate confectionery and gold medal for his patisserie. Kestekides was also part of the 1913 World Fair in Ghent, where he met and married his wife from Brussels.

Kestekides settled permanently in Belgium and opened tea rooms in Brussels, Ghent, and Blankenberge. He was then joined by some of his relatives in Ghent to help him in creating delectable pralines and began importing fine ingredients like almonds, lokum (a sugary confection also known as Turkish Delight), and fruits confit. Since then, his relatives continued to innovate chocolate confections with the introduction of the Manon (coffee butter cream dipped in white chocolate). They have incorporated the logo of an effigy of Leonidas, King of Sparta, as an homage to the company’s founder.

Today, Leonidas offers over 100 unique chocolate confections, which is sold in over 1,400 retail outlets around the world.

20
Mar

History of Belgian Chocolates

by admin, in: Belgium
History of Belgian Chocolates

Belgium is one of the few countries in the world known for its delectable fine chocolate. How this small country become home of some of the best chocolatiers, however, is not so sweet. It began in the 1880s, when Belgium was ruled by King Leopold II. He laid the foundations in controlling the Congo Free State (present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo) in Africa that provided easy access to the vast cocoa grounds. Belgium continued to import cocoa from Congo despite war was raged by the African slaves. It is said that about 10 million Congolese were murdered during Leopold II’s reign.

It was in 1912 when Belgium made a mark in the chocolate industry when a Swiss family based in Brussels, the Neuhaus, created the praline. This confection was the first buttercream-filled, bite-sized chocolate, which was filled either with nuts or cream and coated with milk chocolate. These pralines were sold in a special packaging called Ballotin, deep cardboard boxes with overhanging edges, which has since became a standard in packing different types of fine chocolate.

Today, several well-known chocolatiers traced their roots in Belgium such as Neuhaus, Leonidas, Godiva, and Nirvana. They still create the most luscious pralines, as well as truffles, ganache, and other tasty confections that the whole world enjoys.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]