Chocolate is one of the main associations that people have with Belgium. There are over 2,000 chocolate producers in the country that range from large manufactures (e.g., Côte d’Or) to tiny, local chocolatiers. Since 2015, they have all gathered at Le Salon du Chocolat in Brussels—an annual fair dedicated exclusively to Belgian chocolate and its production. The event is a special edition of a series of international gatherings—Le Salon du Chocolat —that take place all over the world.
In Brussels, over 130 chocolatiers, confectioners, pastry chefs, food designers, and cocoa experts take part in the chocolate fair. The program of Le Salon du Chocolat is simultaneously entertaining and informative. Visitors may attend tastings, exhibitions, lectures, conferences, and workshops. It is impossible to ignore stands that showcase the praline—a chocolate bonbon first cooked in Brussels at the beginning of the 20th century. Local chocolatiers keep on experimenting with cocoa varieties and unusual tastes: you can find chocolate that tastes like curry, green tea, bacon, wasabi, onion, etc.
The fair offers a special program for children. There is also an unusual fashion show that takes place every evening: all models wear clothes made of chocolate that are designed especially for the event. All activities are inspired by the chocolate theme and are organized with the intent to introduce Belgian chocolate, to demonstrate the art of its production, and to outline the latest trends in the industry.
Le Salon du Chocolat is organized in Tour & Taxis, a trade and exhibition centre in Brussels. The location is pretty atmospheric as all of the buildings belong to a former 19th-century train station and surrounding warehouses.