Chocolate pralines is an iconic product of Belgium, the country which produces the best chocolate in the world and therefore it writes another great chapter in the book of chocolate pralineshistory. One of the most interesting facts about pralines is that in Europe, it is tightly connected with the chocolate (and especially with that of Belgium) despite the fact that the original praline had nothing to do with chocolate at all. It is useful to know the history of pralines to understand the differences between various products in different areas of the world.
There are two competing stories with an ambition to attribute the origin of pralines to one particular person. Some people say that the invention of praline can be traced back to the 18th century Paris where Mr.Pralin (or Praslin) prepared the original one. The other theory attributes the primacy of putting the almonds or some other nuts into a caramelized sugar to Mr. Clément Lassagne, the cook of the prominent French soldier and an ambassador of the king Louis XIII, Marshal César, duc de Choiseul, Comte du Plessis-Praslin (1598 – 1675) from the small town of Montargis in central France. This is the more realistic scenario and it is commonly accepted as the true explanation of the praline´s origin.
This original form of praline is similar to that which is still popular in the southern part of the United States, especially in the area of New Orleans. Praline came to America with French settlers in te 17th century and it kept its original form since that time with an only major change. In America, they use pecans instead of almonds or other nuts more typical for Europe.
Chocolate Pralines Today
The Belgian chocolate is famous all around the world and its production became the important sector of the Belgian economy. According to the 2015 data, 385,000 tonnes of the bulk chocolate and 169,000 tonnes of other chocolate products (sweets, bars or pralines) are produced in the country annually and consumed worldwide. The most important Belgium chocolate products are the pralines. In fact, the praline is what first comes to mind when people hear the term „the Belgian chocolate“ and it became almost a synonym.
In Belgium, there are over 2,000 producers of chocolate products and the sales make almost two billion Euros. With the most of the important production and economic statistics of the chocolate industry sector rising, the future of the chocolate and the pralines in both Belgium and worldwide seems to be really bright.
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