Something about Belgian chocolates, Emma's Delights and the names of our 'pralines'

Classic Belgian chocolates are made with molds.

Classic Belgian chocolates are made with molds.

Belgian chocolates are famous all over the world. The typical Belgian chocolates or 'pralines' as we call our individual chocolates in Belgium are made with molds because one of the characteristics of Belgian chocolates is the fresh cream (heavy cream and butter) as base of a lot of fillings, and you cannot use the dipping or enrobing method for that.

As most Belgians, I grew up with fine chocolates and my favorites were the caramels, the crunchy type, and the praliné pastes (caramelized nut pastes). So when I started making my own 'pralines' I automatically favored that kind of fillings. Living in health conscious CA where nuts and fruit are very much in favor, I decided to make my Belgian chocolates 'with a twist of CA innovation', a combination of the traditional molds with (mostly) healthier fillings.  

I also wanted to name each chocolate and I like choosing names that immediately transport you to the whole experience of eating a particular chocolate, so each name evokes the flavor and feel of the filling as well as the shape of the ‘praline’. I wanted to highlight the connection of my chocolates with the places I grew up in and around, so while the French terms may sound more familiar, the Flemish names are reminiscent of my native Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, immortalized by our famous singer-songwriter Jacques Brel in his nostalgic song: 'Mijn Platte Land', (my flat countryside).

You can find the whole list of Emma's Delights with explanation in the FAQs, but here are a few that I am particularly fond of:

De Zoute: Flemish for 'The Salty' is how we call our beautiful Flemish beach city "Knokke, de Zoute", but the way it is pronounced in the local coastal dialect it sounds like Flemish for 'sweet'. Our salty caramel captured in the shape of a wave transports me back to my beloved "De Zoute" with each bite I take. I hope you will get to visit "De Zoute" soon. Until then: dream on with every bite you take out of our 'Blonde' and 'Noire' versions ('blonde' and 'black' or milk and dark chocolate). 

De Sablon: The French word 'sablon' (zavel in Flemish) means a fine-grained sand, halfway between silt and sand. The 'Sablon' was originally a sandy hill in Brussels. Now it indicates the 2 squares of 'Le Grand Sablon'  (De Grote Zavel) and the 'Petit Sablon' (De Kleine Zavel), the big and the small squares. To me 'sablon' evokes the caramelized nut paste mixed in with our salty caramel. 

For more info check out our FAQ

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under CHOCOLATES.