Europe
First chocolate salon in Brussels set for Feb.
Last Updated: 2014-01-15 11:38 | Xinhua
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The first chocolate salon in Brussels will be held from Feb. 7 to 9 in the Belgian capital, announced Vice Mayor Marion Lemesre at a press conference on Tuesday.

The salon will be attended by 89 chocolatiers, Belgian and international.

At the salon, visitors can not only follow the great masters and sample their recipes, but also try their skills at the workshops.

The event will also include a parade of chocolate dresses, fashion creators and chocolate masters' common work.

Famous Belgian chocolatier Leonidas will show a colossal chocolate sculpture, measuring nearly four meters high, for its 100th anniversary.

A work of Jean-Luc Decluzeau, the sculpture is an effigy of the king of Sparta, the emblem of the brand Leonidas since its creation. It is created to pay homage to its founder Leonidas Kestekides who bore the same name as the Greek King.

Chocolate is considered as one of the three specialties of the small kingdom Belgium, along with diamond and beer.

Belgium is now the second largest consumer of chocolate in the world, behind Switzerland, with an average of nearly ten pounds per year per person. Belgian chocolate is known for its original and diverse tastes.

Chocolate is a major player in Belgium's local economic development.

The pentagon of Brussels alone has 32 companies specializing in the manufacture of cocoa and chocolate.

Between 2004 and 2009, the turnover of the chocolate rose 53 percent in Brussels, while investment rose in the same period by 50 percent, from 10 million to 15 million euros (13.68 million to 20.52 million U.S. dollars).

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