Identifying Genuine Belgian Wholesale Sweets
Retailing Belgian wholesale sweets? Belgian chocolate is one of the most sought-after lines, but how do you know if it's genuine?
Belgian chocolate is one of the most coveted lines of chocolates in the world – which is why it is such a hot product line for those purchasing wholesale sweets to resell.
But how do you differentiate genuine Belgian chocolate from fakes that are trying to be passed off as Belgian? Here’s a rundown of the more important things to take note of.
The chocolates are branded
Ordering branded Belgian chocolates is the safest and most reliable way to ensure your wholesale sweets are genuine – but they do come at a cost. Famous Belgian brands of chocolate include Dolfin and Gudrun, to name just two. If you want to check the authenticity of the supplier you are considering, simply check the websites of these major brands and ask them via e-mail if for a list of the authorised distributors of their goods.
Do note, however, that you can still obtain wholesale sweets from Belgium that are not affiliated with these brands. They are still high-quality goods if you manage to find a legitimate source of white label or own-label sweets, but you’ll need to do more than simply rely on a brand name.
Stronger, more aromatic chocolate
A very strong chocolate-y smell is the first and most obvious sign that you have genuine Belgian chocolate on your hands. This is because Belgian chocolatiers work with super fresh chocolate, thanks to heated tanker trucks. These trucks deliver the chocolate in liquid form very soon after it is made – preserving much of the aroma that would be lost if it was allowed to cool down and be reheated. The latter option drives production costs down but at the cost of diluting the aroma of the chocolate.
You can thank the rich chocolate infrastructure and heritage of Belgium for this. Delivering this chocolate in liquid form would not be practical if there were not such a high demand among traditional Belgian chocolatiers for it in the first place.
Smoother, more complex flavour
The process of identifying Belgian chocolate becomes easier once you’ve become familiar with the smooth texture and distinct brand of bitterness it possesses. Belgium has actually imposed a law that requires all Belgian-made chocolates to contain at least 35% pure cocoa. Any self-respecting Belgian chocolatier, however, will only work with 50% to 70% pure cocoa content. The result is a chocolate that melts in your mouth and leaves a powerful taste that lingers.
If you see ugly, greyish-white streaks forming on what you believe to be Belgian chocolate, chances are you’re looking at a fake product. These ‘blooms’ occur when chocolate is not properly heated and agitated in cycles. Belgian chocolatiers are masters of this tempering process and will never allow blooms to form. Another scenario is that you or your supplier improperly handled the chocolates during transport – allowing them to melt and then solidify. If you see blooming on the Belgian wholesale sweets you've received from your supplier you should send right back.
No cocoa substitutes
Chocolate is virtually holy to Belgians, and they consider it heresy to dilute the flavour with cheap fillers like vegetable oil or milk fats in order to lower costs. This is why it is very important that you check all the listed ingredients. Any sign of cocoa substitutes (like the aforementioned vegetable oil or milk fats) and you know you are looking at ‘diluted’ chocolates. Although good suppliers may certainly sell more affordable chocolates that use cocoa substitutes, they would never label these as Belgian.
Keep all these points in mind and you will have a much easier time identifying and retailing chocolates from Belgium.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angelina Moufftard works for HF Chocolates, suppliers of high quality wholesale sweets to the retail trade and others who wish to purchase wholesale quantities of chocolate and confectionery. Renowned since 1957, we've sourced the best suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and UK. Our great tasting and beautifully packaged products also represent excellent value for money.