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The History Of Belgian Chocolate Is Not-So-Sweet

Art Poster Print by Guillaume Plisson, 'Feves De Cacao', Size: 15.75 x 15.75How Did It All Happen?

It all started with Leopold II of Belgium, in the year 1885, when he colonized Congo. It was a territory eighty-six times bigger than his home country. Leopold II was the very first leader to commit genocide during the 20th Century.

The chocolate industry first took off during the 1880’s, supported by getting a hold of the Belgian Congo that aided an easy way in to Africa’s cocoa grounds. The truth is that it is very hard to imagine that Belgian Chocolate’s history may be that far from being sweet.

There was an estimated 10 million Africans that were murdered under the orders of Leopold II. Despite the war brewing, Belgians were able to maintain the cocoa importing connections.

On the other hand, the Belgian contribution in the chocolate industry was the introduction of the unique chocolate product, praline. It was created and expanded by a Swiss family in Brussels, the Neuhaus family in 1912. The praline was the very first buttercream-filled, bite-sized chocolate. It was either filled with nuts or cream, and coated with milk or milk chocolate, or even filled with a very good quality dark chocolate.

In the year 1912, chocolate started as a gift in Belgium. A Belgian chocolatier created the very first praline, a chocolate that absolutely wonderful to give as a gift. A packaging called Ballotin was developed and patented for praline. At that moment, the pralines in Ballotin were the most desired gift, and every chance someone had to give a present, this was it.

In The Making:
Cacao Poster Print Chocolates start with the seeds of a cacao tree. This is a fruit-bearing tree that has large football-shaped like pods, in which the seeds are contained. The cacao tree was first discovered in the United States, but now can be grown in many countries near the Equator. These pods are gathered and the seeds are then dried in the sun. After drying, they undergo roasting. When the beans are roasted, they are crushed to produce cocoa powder, and then squeezed to get the cocoa butter.

When the powder is ready, it is mixed with butter. Adding milk powder and sugar creates chocolate. Each component of the mixture determines the color of the chocolate. Therefore, it is also possible to create different kinds of chocolate like black or the dark chocolate that can be made with even seventy percent of cocoa in the mixture. Milk chocolate contains more milk powder than others, and of course the white chocolate does not contain cocoa, but cocoa butter only, mixed with milk and sugar.

Neat Facts:
Did you know that all the pralines during those times were handmade?

Presently, chocolates are considered an energy giving food because of it’s very high content of sugar and calories.

Chocolate is also considered one of the many sexual stimulating foods. In fact, aside from being an exceptional energy booster, one of the Aztec emperors drank chocolate in his chalice to be able to mate with his wives.

It is also known as an anti-depressant of sorts. Chocolate contains a substance called “pheryletylanine” that has a positive effect in the event of a nervous depression. Moreover, there is something in chocolate that lightens your mood when you eat it.

Iced Tea: 50 Recipes for Refreshing Tisanes, Infusions, Coolers, and Spiked TeasI know, I know…Chocolate can be very fattening, right? If you’re on a diet, it’s the one thing you want to eat, and one of things you shouldn’t. Need a fix without the calories? Check out my: After 8 Chocolate Mint Iced Tea recipe!

I truly hope you enjoyed this installment of Cooking With Kimberly. Until next time…

Eat Deliciously,

Kimberly Edwards 😀

P.S. Hungry for authentic Belgian Chocolate? I found some beautiful Belgian Chocolate Pasties! Check them out here:

“Chocolate Pasties – Belgian Milk Chocolate”

“These Chocolate Pasties are made of Belgian Milk Chocolate and stick on your nipples with peanut-butter? How come they didn’t think of this any sooner? I absolutely LOVE chocolate and peanut-butter! It’s definitely a very cute idea. Put these on to surprise your lover. Maybe come into the room doing some type of strip, then get up to his face and reveal these babies! I think they’d be pretty happy about it. Make sure you tease them for a good long while before they get to eat them. Here are the directions for you. Rub peanut-butter onto nipples. Gently apply the Chocolate Pasties. Let this sticky sweet sensation bring out the showgirl in you. Feel free to substitute marshmallow dessert topping if you would rather.”

[tags]Belgian chocolate, chocolate, white chocolate, how is chocolate made, dessert, where does chocolate come from, history of chocolate[/tags]

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Author: Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is the web-chef behind CookingWithKimberly.com. Food writer, food consultant and general lover of the delicious treats on our planet, Kimberly brings you hearty content, delicious offerings, fun antics, and some down-home cooked love with her mom making cameos. Internet entrepreneur and marketer, International model, and Editor-in-Chief of a number of online publications. Be a Champion in Your Kitchen & Eat Deliciously!

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1 Comment

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  1. PlugIM.com - The History Of Belgian Chocolate Is Not-So-Sweet... Mmmmmm...I love Chocolate...anything to do with it! Interesting history of Belgian…

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