Belgium is the country of chocolate par excellence, passion for cocoa can be found in any corner of this country. We want to show you in this article the reason for the reputation that precedes this small country.
The most exclusive chocolate shop in Brussels is Pierre Marcolini, located in Sablon Square. The big difference in price and taste lies in whether the chocolate is handmade or industrial. The best sellers are Leonidas, Neuhaus and Godiva. They allproduce industrial chocolate. If you want to buy chocolate in Brussels and save some money a good option is Godiva’s outlet, located near the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, in Simonis Leopold metro station. In any case, any chocolate in Brussels is of good quality, since competition forces all manufacturers to maintain a high level of quality to ensure sales.
LADY GODIVA, THE LEGEND OF BELGIAN CHOCOLATE
Godiva is undoubtedly the most famous and international chocolate in Belgium. Since its birth in the Grand Place of Brussels in 1926, it has managed to expand its fame worldwide with its image of quality and glamour.
The famous Belgian chocolate brand Godiva was born with the opening of its first store in 1926 in the Grand Place in Brussels. Its founder, chocolatier Joseph Draps, took inspiration from the legend of passionate, generous Lady Godiva to choose the name of its famous chocolate. This chocolate brand is nowadays a symbol of quality and excellence.
As with any legend, it is difficult to know which part comes from popular imaginary and which part is real. But the fact is that,even though the events of this story are based in the Middle Ages, Lady Godiva’s feat has survived to the present day, as it is shown by the name of one of the most famous Belgian chocolates and its iconic logo, a woman with long hair riding naked on her horse.
Legend has it that in the early eleventh century in England, during the reign of Edward the Confessor, the town of Coventry lived under the oppressive taxation of Count Leofric. The Count’s wife, a beautiful, kind-hearted woman, was tormented by the suffering she saw in her vassals. She begged Leofric to reduce taxes so as to alleviate the plight of his people. The Count, thinking that his wife would not be able to accept,said he would grant her request if she would strip naked and ride on a horse through the streets of the town. Lady Godiva immediately accepted, but she issued a proclamation that all citizens from Coventry should stay indoors and shut their windows during her walk, in order to lessen the shame of her journey without clothes.
Just one person in the town, a tailor ever afterwards known as Peeping Tom, decided to take the opportunity to seeLady Godiva naked, watching through a crack. He was severely punished. The legend says that the Count, touched by the generosity and love of his wife to his people, decided to fulfil his promise.
Currently, the traditional festivals of Coventry honour the figure of Lady Godiva, with a naked woman riding a horse through the streets of the town. This famous story has also been an inspiration to many artists, there are pictures and movies on the subject. Probably the most famous image of Lady Godiva is that created in 1897 by painter John Collier, although the oldest one dates back to 1586, a painting by Adam Van Noort found in the county of Coventry.
GODIVA’S OUTLET IN BRUSSELS
Where can we buy chocolate in Brussels at a good price? This is one of the most typical questions we ask when we get to Belgium.Here we give you the answer,it is cheap, easy and beatiful. Godiva is a high quality brand.In its outlet you can find the same chocolate an in the downtown shops but much cheaper.
It is located next to the impressive Basilica of Koekelberg in the Brussels neighbourhood of the same name. Just behind the factory of the famous Belgian chocolate, the “gourmands” and chocolate lovers can take home Belgian chocolate of the highest quality at discounted prices.
The outlet sellsthe overproduction or even the chocolate with minor flaws such as a small drop of black chocolate on white chocolate. Subtleties that will allow us to acquire chocolate of perfect presentation and in perfect conditions, but cheaper. An opportunity that,more than ever, willdelight all visitors.
- Location: Avenuede Jette, 4. Brussels
- Opening hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 10-18 hours.
- Metro: Simonis
THE FIRST NEUHAUS CHOCOLATE SHOP IN THE WORLD
Nehaus, a classic Belgian chocolate, tradition and quality at a good price. In Brussels you can find the first store of this famous chocolatier from Switzerland, founded in 1857 in the famous Saint Humbert Galleries.
Neuhaus history is deeply linked to the history of Belgian chocolate. The creation of praliné and the revolutionary marketing techniques from the early twentieth century used by this family turned the brand, and thus the first shop -the origin of an empire- from these manufacturers, in an essential place.
In 1857, Jean Neuhaus, of Swiss origin, opened, together with his brother-in-law, a pharmacy in the downtown Saint Humbert Galleriesin Brussels. The business’s concept was to coat different medicines with a layer of chocolate to make them have a nicer taste and, thus,to increase sales. This ingenious idea gave the pharmacy a reputation and it turned the chocolate into such an attraction thatit soon became the main product in this shop.
But the watershed moment to the history of Neuhaus was in 1912 when its founder's grandson, also named Jean, created the first filled chocolate, which became well-known throughout the world, the famous praliné.
This great creation was followed two years later by another revolutionary idea. Jean's wife, Louise Augustine, developed a new way to wrap the precious chocolates and pralinés to prevent any deterioration and help move them more comfortably. This was the famous box called "Ballotin" where each of the chocolate pieces is treated like a little gem, becoming a gift item par excellence. This box was later used by all chocolate makers.
The Neuhaus family continued to make the most of its great marketing spirit. In the Word Exhibition held in Brussels in 1958, they presented their famous pralinés Caprice and Tentation. In addition, on the occasion of the royal wedding of Prince Albert and Paola and King Baldwin and Fabiola, four new pralinés were launched, named after these four personalities of the Belgian royalty.
Nowadays Neuhaus is worldwide renowned, together with other large brands of Belgian chocolate like Godiva. It has thousands of stores on every continent. Furthermore it is one of the purveyors of the Belgian Royal Household.
- Address: Neuhaus, Galerie de la Reine, Galeries Royales Saint Humbert (next to Grand Place)
- Metro: Gare Centrale, Bourse or Brouckère