Europe has a rich history when it comes to chocolate and many nations will claim to have the most luxurious types. The history dates back to 1502 when Christopher Columbus set sail to the New World and would return to Europe with cocoa beans along with all kinds of other treasures. These beans, although originally not valued by the Spanish, would transform European cuisine and life in the years to come.
So, where has the best luxury chocolate in Europe? There are a handful of places that could stake a claim:
Belgium is often the first that springs to mind when thinking about luxury chocolate and this is for good reason. 17th-century explorers brought cocoa beans back here from South America and in this time, chocolate was a sign of luxury and mainly used for hot chocolate to impress new visitors. Belgium is also a pioneer when it comes to chocolate as the inventors of praline along with reputable brands.
Another big name in the chocolate world, Switzerland is famous for the creation of silky Alpine milk chocolate along with combining chocolate and hazelnuts. Swiss chocolate has an unmistakable luxury feel to it and has several household name brands with these luxury ingredient combinations.
Chocolate was previously enjoyed in liquid form and it was Brit Joseph Fry that discovered how to make chocolate into a solid in 1847 – a game-changing moment which led to the creation of delicious chocolates in many forms. Britain is also known for the creation of fondant chocolates, such as orange cream and peppermint cream and adding diary milk to the formula.
Italy has a history of innovation and creativity when it comes to chocolate, which includes the creation of savourydishes and desserts like tiramisu along with combining chocolate and citrus and almonds for the first time. Italy was also the first place to combine chocolate and coffee – a great combination that is enjoyed by people all over the globe.
These are the big players when it comes to luxury chocolate in Europe. It is amazing to see how chocolate has been used throughout history in Europe and these countries all have had their own unique, innovative and creative approach and brought something new to the table. Where has the most luxury chocolate will depend on who you ask (and where they are from), but Europe certainly has a rich history with chocolate and there are all kinds of types that people can now enjoy.