It’s fairly well known that if you’re looking for good quality chocolate then it’s Belgian or Swiss chocolate you need. But what’s the
difference, indeed, is there one?
Well, both contain cocoa solids, sugar, some flavouring (such as vanilla) and sometimes milk. Cocoa solids are the combination of cocoa
mass and cocoa butter, which originate from the cocoa tree to the cocoa pod and into the cocoa beans. The way the way the cocoa is extracted and chocolate is made is called the bean to bar story, which I talk more about in my chocolate making parties. It’s a fascinating process so do come along to a party if you’d like to learn more.
So, what’s the difference? Well, Belgian chocolate usually has a higher cocoa content, and therefore less sugar and milk. Swiss chocolate
has a higher milk content, making it more of a creamy texture. The Swiss therefore are masters of milk chocolate, and it was Rudolphe Lindt who invented the conching process – the method of making chocolate really smooth. So those preferring a dark chocolate may find they prefer Belgian chocolate.
The other difference is the source of the beans. All beans come from cocoa trees, which are grown within 20 degrees of the equator, in rainforest areas. However, the chocolate is not produced in these areas due to it’s high humidity, so the beans are shipped to other countries to be made into chocolate, the most popular countries being Belgium and Switzerland. The Belgians source their beans mainly from Africa, whilst the Swiss source theirs from South America as well as Africa.
I use Belgian chocolate here at The Choccie Drop. Its higher cocoa content makes it not only taste delicious, but the tempering process is
easier too (that’s the technical bit of melting the chocolate). I use a brand called Callebaut, and the milk chocolate I use has a cocoa content of 34%, and the dark chocolate is 55%. In comparison Cadbury Dairy Milk is around 20%.
I do hope to see you soon to learn more about chocolate, how it’s made and to taste for yourself the quality of Belgian chocolate