I’m sure many people have asked this question, which is better? Swiss or Belgian chocolates? For the layman, like me, chocolate is chocolate. How can you choose between products that tastes absolutely the same? But my sentence would appall chocolate connoisseurs. Balancing on the verge of blasphemy, this sentence has evoked responses far more informative that I would’ve imagined possible. Let me share with you the subtle differences between the chocolates of the two countries and you can be the judge of who reigns supreme in the chocolate Kingdom.
Both Switzerland and Belgium rose in prominence in the chocolate world for their delicious chocolates and innovative products. While each are chocolate rulers in their own right, each country has certain qualities that a chocolate enthusiast would be able to figure out. Let us find out these differences.
- Cocoa Beans: In order to control their own supply and the quality of beans, the Belgian chocolatiers imported their beans from Congo. They acquired the country, giving them easy access to high quality cocoa beans that is still being used from Congo and other parts of Africa to this day. The Swiss, on the other hand source their beans not only from Africa, but also from South America.
- Storage and Transport: It makes a huge difference on how and which form the cocoa beans are transported from the country of origin to Switzerland or Belgium. Most chocolate companies receive their chocolate in a solid form – as it is easy for transportation, but it must be reheated to create various products. There may be a loss of quality in this process. The Belgians, who are sticklers for high levels of quality, require their chocolate to be transported in heated tanker trucks. This means that the liquid chocolate would not have cooled after the tempering process, and all the original aromas and flavors are still present in the chocolate.
- The texture of the chocolate: There is a chance that you can tell where a chocolate is from just because of its texture. Swiss chocolates are known to be creamier and smoother. The conching process was invented by Rudolph Lindt, the famous Swiss chocolatier. This is the process when the texture of the chocolate is refined by warming it up and grinding it between rollers to get a smooth texture. In comparison to other chocolatiers who use artificial emulsifiers and ingredients to create that smooth texture
- Milk chocolate vs. Dark chocolate: One main reason why it is hard to choose between the two chocolate kingpins is because they are very different in nature. Dark chocolate lovers will fall for the dark charm of Belgian chocolate due to the higher cocoa content. Milk chocolate fans will prefer the smooth, creamy chocolate produced by the Swiss. It has higher milk content and contains less cocoa and higher levels of sugar as compared to Belgian chocolate. Swiss chocolatiers have a huge market to cater to. Of all the types of chocolate sold in the country, more than 80% of that is milk chocolate that is consumed by Swiss consumers.
Chomp, chomp on chocolate: If it’s produced in your own backyard, you’ll have easy access to it – so it stands to reason that the Swiss hold the record for the daily chocolate consumption. It is said that one chocolate bar is eaten daily by each Swiss person! That’s a lot of chocolate happiness to have every day. But don’t dismiss the Belgians just yet. They’re not far behind with the Belgian people happily consuming an average of 24 pounds yearly.