Belgium is widely known to be the capital of chocolate, and products bearing the name of the country are thought to be of the highest quality. Chocolate shops can be found all across the country, and names such as Cote d'Or, Neuhaus and Leonidas are well known throughout the world.
Visiting any one of Belgium's chocolate shops is sure to be a great opportunity to try some freshly made Belgian chocolate and bring home some delicious souvenirs, but there are many different ways in which this chocolate can be enjoyed.
Some inventive chocolatiers have managed to create boxes of chocolates where the box is actually made of chocolate. The boxes can have beautiful intricate chocolate designs on the top and make an impressive gift to take home. Of course, the box will need to be kept reasonably cool to ensure that it does not melt.
Hot Chocolate Drink
Belgian chocolate makes for a luxurious and delicious hot chocolate drink. Visitors can buy chocolate powder to take home, or a chocolate cube on a stick that dissolves in hot water and milk to make a perfectly balanced hot chocolate for one.
The original chocolate shell with a soft centre was the invention of Jean Neuhaus in 1912. Nuts, sugar syrup, flavourings and liqueur can be found within the shells to make different and interesting tastes. Pralines are widely available and many shops sell them individually.
Bouquet of chocolate
Another inventive present to bring home for a loved one, or a personal treat to enjoy over a few days, bouquets of chocolate are made up of shards of chocolate, rather than flowers. Most bouquets are made up of lots of different flavour combinations, using dark, milk and white chocolate.
On a waffle
Belgium is as famous for its waffles as it is for chocolate, so why not combine the two? There are plenty of different toppings that can be enjoyed on top of a warm waffle, and chocolate goes very well with icing sugar, strawberries and banana.
Image Credit: Francisco Antunes (flickr.com)