Chocolate in all its forms

Brussels is hosting the fourth “Salon du chocolat”, until 6.00pm today. A good opportunity to meet dozens of master chocolatiers and to taste all sorts of chocolate.

“A tourist travelling to Brussels has put together a programme of key visits, during which he will be tempted to buy a few souvenirs: chocolate will  without any doubt figure on his shopping list”, according to Philippe Close, Deputy Burgomaster for Tourism, Finance and Personnel, at the Brussels City Council. Belgium and chocolate are indeed an endless love story. It therefore makes sense that Brussels hosts the “Salon du chocolat”, from 10 to 12 February.


“We set up the “Salon du Chocolat” 22 years ago in Paris. We then moved to the United States, to Japan, to China and to Russia. As Belgium is the country of chocolate, we have then thought about organising one salon in Brussels. And we are here for the fourth year”, Sylvie Douce, founder or the Salon, said. “Our goal is to make the affectional relationship between the consumer and the producer stronger. You can meet chocolate makers, there are workshops to explain you how it works, how to cook it etc. Chocolate is here introduced in all its forms”, she added.

8000 square meters are dedicated to the event. On Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people were queueing up to access the “Tour & Taxis.” hangars. “We hosted 80 participants and 23,000 visitors came last year. This year, 130 chocolate makers and artisans are taking part of the salon. We expect a lot of people to come, even if it is snowing today”, Sylvie added.

Most of the master chocolatiers come from Belgium, but you also have the opportunity to taste chocolates from Peru or Madagascar. And if you do not like chocolate (it sometimes happens!), other artisans are here to present Belgian nougat, gingerbread, or biscuits.

“I have been participating in the Salon for three years now, but it is the first time that I have my own stand”Jérôme Grimonpon said. He was awarded best master chocolatier of Belgium in 2012. “It is an excellent opportunity to present my products, to be more famous. As I built up a camera and a globe sculptures in chocolate, it attracts people. Most of the visitors are neophyte, but some of them are more expert and buy specific chocolates I produce”, he concluded.

Besides artisans and small producers, bigger companies also attend the event, such as Leonidas. “We have been here since the first edition. The salon is a showcase for all the producers. Leonidas is the bigger one in Belgium, so it would not make sense not to be here”, an employee told us. “We are today introducing a new praline, with vanilla and violet. We also built an Eiffel Tower, so we are visible”, he added.

The Salon is indeed not only about tasting chocolate, but it also about showing chocolate art. You can then see many structures (please keep in mind that they are not eatable!), as well as you could attend a chocolate dress parade on Saturday.

But most of the visitors were rushing to some stands to taste and buy chocolates. “We are here for the first time. We are having a look at the different products, and we will probably purchase some of them. Although we were expecting something a bit bigger, it is pretty good”, Andreas and Rani said. “I used to work in the stands over the past years, but I am just here as a visitor today”, Sophie stated. “It is very interesting for the tourists, as they can taste real chocolates made by traditional artisans. Although the products are more or less the same every single year, you always can find a new sort of chocolate”, she added.