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Finest Belgian Chocolate
Callebaut is a Belgian chocolate brand, owned by the Barry Callebaut group. With a heritage tracing back to 1911 Callebaut has a reputation for crafting premium Belgian couverture chocolate that is used and endorsed by chefs and chocolate professionals all over the world.
- 1 About
- 2 History
- 3 Innovations
- 4 Awards, decorations and certifications
- 5 Trivia
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Crafted in Belgium, from bean to chocolate.
Callebaut is a Belgian couverture chocolate manufacturer. Couverture chocolate is chocolate with a high cocoa butter content used by gourmet and culinary professionals, who praise Callebaut couverture chocolate for its extraordinary workability, reliability and taste, which has remained constant over the decades.
The company's products are known all over the world as ‘Finest Belgian Chocolate’ because they are entirely crafted (from cocoa bean to chocolate) in Belgium according to traditional recipes. Callebaut still applies the whole-bean roasting technique (instead of roasting cocoa kernels), just like it did over 100 years ago. This technique allows the preservation of all the flavors and delicate aromatic oils within the cocoa husk and fully releases them in the chocolate. Because of its slower production process, whole-bean roasting is exclusively used by artisan, small-batch chocolate makers. Callebaut is the only industrial chocolate maker in the world to have preserved this original roasting method. Its 811, 823 and W2 recipes result from whole-bean roasting and have acquired iconic status among artisan chocolatiers all over the world.
‘Chocolaterie Callebaut’ was established in 1911 by Octaaf Callebaut in the small Belgian village of Wieze. His chocolate company took up the same factory building his grandfather Eugène Callebaut founded a family-run brewing and milling company called ‘De Ploeg’ in, in 1850.
Octaaf Callebaut’s chocolate recipes (of which the world-famous 811 and 823 recipes are still produced today) quickly took to the liking of numerous chocolatiers, bakers and pastry chefs. As a result Chocolaterie Callebaut PLC was established in 1930. A clear focus towards the professional market took shape and the company from then on dedicated its activities to supplying and servicing chocolatiers, confectioners and bakeries.
Focus on couverture chocolate
After World War II, the production of couverture chocolate became the company’s core business, complemented by a limited range of bars and tablets. Callebaut now offered tailor-made chocolate for industrial customers around the world and the company’s iconic W2 reference was created.
In 1988 Callebaut established the Callebaut College in Belgium. It is one of the first teaching and training centers for artisans and professionals who want to improve their working skills in chocolate and learn about new trends, techniques and recipes. It was the first of the current 13 Callebaut Chocolate Academies, located all over the world.
Establishment of Barry Callebaut
In 1996 Callebaut merged with French chocolate maker Cacao Barry to form the Barry Callebaut group, which instantly became market leader thanks to its 40 production plants worldwide. Both chocolate brands however still remain existent separately under the Barry Callebaut umbrella, with Callebaut as its premium couverture chocolate brand.
In 2002 Callebaut called the Callebaut Ambassador Club into existence to support the development of new products, packaging, recipes and professional training events. Today, the club counts 55 members worldwide, all of which are renowned chefs, pastry chefs and confectioners with an international reputation.
Finest Belgian Chocolate
Today, Callebaut is officially known as the ‘Finest Belgian Chocolate’, a reference to the fact that its chocolate is produced with 100% Belgian craftsmanship. Callebaut belongs to the very select group of chocolate makers who select, roast and grind their cocoa beans themselves, thus keeping control over the entire production process from cocoa bean to chocolate. Its premium products are used and endorsed by chocolate professionals throughout the world.
From its very establishment, Callebaut took on the role of innovator. This list portrays several revolutionary innovations ascribed to the chocolate company:
- Callebaut invents a way to store and transport liquid chocolate from the factory in Wieze right to the customer’s doorstep – quite a revolutionary feat for the time.
- With the introduction of the CalletsTM, Callebaut openly chooses sides with the chocolate professionals. While before chocolate was only sold in bigger chunks, the new small chocolate drops are a real breakthrough in the market. Until today, they remain highly popular among professionals, as they make Callebaut’s couvertures much easier to dose, melt and temper.
- Callebaut creates the first Origine chocolates (Arriba, Java, Sao Thomé and Grenade) made entirely with cocoa from a single region. The Origine chocolates carry the aromas of flowers, herbs and spices that are typical for the soil where the cocoa is grown, resulting in overwhelming flavors and characteristic subtleties.
- With MycryoTM Callebaut creates 100% pure and natural cocoa butter in powder form. Although it makes tempering chocolate easier than ever, it’s primarily developed for cooking. The odorless vegetable fat creates a thin, impermeable film around meat, fish, vegetables or even great scallops and foie gras to retain all the succulent juices and flavors inside when frying them.
Awards, decorations and certifications
Awards and decorations
- Prince Philippe of Belgium awards Callebaut with the ‘Grote Oscar voor de Export’, a highly prestigious distinction that recognizes the company’s efforts to share its unmistakably Belgian heritage with the world.
- Callebaut receives the Golden Quality Logo, which is only awarded to companies that are ISO-certified and show a clear progress in terms of integral quality
- Callebaut’s CalletsTM Sensation, shiny chocolate pearls, are awarded the Ruban Bleu award in the chocolate category at the Europain-Intersuc trade fair in Paris, acknowledging Callebaut’s sense of innovation and progress, market knowledge and value for money products.
- Callebaut’s CrispearlsTM, tiny chocolate pearls with a crunchy, toasted biscuit kernel, win the Ruban Bleu award at the Europain-Intersuc trade fair in Paris. The revolutionary CrispearlsTM can be used as decoration or inclusion, and add taste, texture and refined looks to pastries desserts and confectionery.
In 1990, Callebaut was the first chocolate manufacturer in the world and the first food manufacturer in Belgium to obtain the ISO-9002 certificate for its constant care for quality. Over the following years, Callebaut receives a battery of other quality certificates, including:
- Retail Consortium (BRC)
- The self-checking system Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (ACS)
- Bio (EU)
- NOP (USDA Organic)
- UTZ Certified
- Although the factory site in Wieze, Belgium already functioned as a brewery, founded in 1850 by Eugène Callebaut, it was Octaaf Callebaut who began producing chocolate bars there in 1911 and couverture chocolate in 1925.
- In 1996, Callebaut merged with rival chocolatier Cacao Barry to form a new company, formally known as Barry Callebaut, with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, although Callebaut retained its offices in Belgium. In 2005 Barry Callebaut was noted as "the world's biggest chocolatier."
- Callebaut was Belgium’s first chocolate brand to partner up directly with cocoa farmers and cooperatives to grow cocoa beans sustainably through its Growing Great Chocolate program.
- Callebaut is the first chocolate manufacturer in the world and the first food manufacturer in Belgium to obtain the ISO-9002 certificate for its constant care for quality.
- Morais, Richard C. (2005). "The Gnomes of Cocoa: Barry Callebaut, the world's largest chocolatier is barely known in the U.S. Its guilt-free candy could change that in a hurry.". Forbes 175 (7): 110.