Though the Mesoamerican’s unlocked the cocoa beans potential, it was the Belgian’s who elevated it to an art form. When it comes to the world’s favourite sweet treat, there’s Belgian chocolate, and then there’s everything else…
Belgium’s love affair with chocolate started as far back as 1635 during the country’s Spanish occupation and shortly after chocolate’s first arrival in Europe from Mesoamerica. With a flavour unlike anything the country had experienced before, its appearance proved to be a sensation and by the mid 18th century had become extremely popular as a luxury item of status among the upper and middle classes. But it wasn’t until Belgian chocolatier Jean Neuhaus II first created the praline in 1912 that the exquisite Belgian chocolate we know today really began to take form and make itself known on the world stage.
In a word? Craft. Belgian chocolatiers are rightly regarded as some of, if not the very best in the world, and it’s through the rigour, finesse, tradition and pure craftsmanship that goes into producing the chocolates of their homeland that they’ve attained this lofty reputation. In fact, Belgian’s are so serious about quality chocolate, that it’s even written into their law—since 1894 the composition of Belgian chocolate has been regulated to ensure a minimum level of 35% cocoa.
Though pralines, those exquisitely rich, soft centered chocolates in a thin chocolate shell, are arguably Belgian’s most famous chocolate creation, they also produce some of the world’s greatest truffles. These often contain an intense, semi-emulsified chocolate filling and are coated in delicate wafer or high quality cocoa powder. There’s also a smaller, but still extremely vibrant, market in the production of luxury, hand-finished, artisanal chocolate items, like eggs, animals, figures and hearts for more specific occasions, like Easter, Christmas and Valentine’s day.
So with all this in mind, it only seems right that every bar of delicious Magnum ice cream be dressed head-to-toe in Belgian chocolate haute couture. After all, if we’re going to be bringing little instances of unadulterated pleasure to your day, we couldn't possibly opt for a chocolate that was anything less than the best. That feeling you get when you bite through the chocolate shell coating your favourite Magnum bar? That’s hundreds of years of Belgian chocolate mastery, tradition and expertise all condensed into one delicious moment of pure indulgence.