Chocolate bars, chocolate kisses, chocolate brownies, chocolate cake….we could go on and on! We don’t know about you, but we love chocolate in every shape, form, flavor, and variety. What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Chocolate has a fascinating history that dates backs back to the ancient Mayan Empire. During this time it was consumed as a bitter liquid drink, and cacao seeds were so valuable they used to be considered a form of currency to trade with the Aztecs. It has since become more available throughout the world, but some places still consider it a luxury. In fact, the inventor of the chocolate chip cookie sold her recipe to Nestle Tollhouse for a lifetime supply of chocolate!
Chocolate is made of cocoa beans, and the quality, flavor, and texture of chocolate depends on factors such as soil, weather, and altitude in places the chocolatiers are buying their beans from.
What are the most famous chocolate countries you can think of? Let’s take a look at what makes Switzerland and Belgium so famous for this delicious treat.
Switzerland has the highest per capita rate of chocolate consumption in the world! In fact every year, the average Swiss eats 20 pounds of chocolate. But why does it taste so good? If you look at the geography of Switzerland, you will see most of the country is filled with mountains and hilly terrain. Because of the altitude, Swiss cows produce a less dense, and better chocolate suited milk called “Alpine milk.” The higher milk and sugar content mixed with less cocoa make the chocolate creamier and better tasting.
If you want to try Swiss chocolate at home, try brands like Lindt, Toblerone, and Milka.
In contrast to Switzerland, Belgium is known for their heavy use of cocoa powder, and therefore are famous for their dark chocolate. Even today, Belgian chocolate is made using old world techniques and most chocolate is still made delicately by hand. Belgian chocolatiers source most of their beans from Africa, where some of the best cocoa beans in the world are grown.
If you want to try Belgian chocolate at home, try brands like Godiva, Neuhaus, and Bruyerre.
In both Switzerland and Belgium, being a professional chocolatier is considered a profession of high regard, and some train their entire lives for the opportunity. Our question is, how do we get a delicious job like that?!
Can you can taste the difference between Swiss milk chocolate and Belgian dark? Let us know in the comments!