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The Royal Warrant Series: Chocolatier Galler

Many of you know that Belgian is a Kingdom and as a result we have many Royal Warrant holders. These heritage brands supply the court with only the best of the best that Belgium has to offer. This summer the I Love Belgium team goes around and gives you an insight into some of these heritage brands. We discover how they got their royal stamp of approval and how the workshop of a Royal Warrant holder looks like. This week we visit the Galler Chocolatier workshop:

Galler, Royal Warrant Holder for artisanal chocolates, has been creating and innovating new delights for the past 85 years. The legacy of Galler started in 1930 with company head Jean Galler’s grandfather who founded the first shop. This shop sparked Jean’s interest and passion for chocolate. At 16 years old, Jean began working with chocolate side by side with his Grandfather, and later attended school in both Switzerland and Paris to expand his skills, passion, and creativity. Just five years later, a bright and young 21-year-old Jean started enterprise Galler that we see today. Based in Liège, Galler is still run on the same principles that it was originally founded on: la passion du chocolat, l’amour de la perfection, and la créativité permanente (the passion for chocolate, the love of perfection, and permanent creativity).

These values come to life in the massive factory that produces each piece of Galler chocolate. Every bar, tablet, praline, truffle, macaroon, ice cream flavor, or specialty chocolate that is sold in over 200 locations across 35 countries is made locally in Liège under the supervision of Jean Galler himself. Artisanal chocolatiers work on the chocolates by hand, and conduct tastings on the hour to ensure that each batch lives up to Galler standards. They create with a fine balance of modern technology and personal hand made techniques that ring with the dedication and expertise of 85 years of practice.

Inside the Galler Factory, the tricks of making chocolate treasures are held. To form the body of each product, Galler creates their own liquid chocolate base. Special base recipes have been perfected and are stored on site in active silos. This ensures that each piece is made with the freshest ingredients and is held to Galler’s standards. Not only are pure chocolate bases essential, but also the commitment to using the best ingredients. Artificial coloring or flavoring will not be found in any of Galler’s treats. Chocolatiers use extracts from flowers, fruits, and vegetables to color and add surprising and inspirational flavors to new creations.

The key to Galler’s success may be held in the hands of the research and development team. Galler is continually making new flavors and winning awards for their constant commitment to creativity and innovation. Although some creations are more complicated to discover, the team is so in synch that new products can be conceptualized in a few weeks.

Jessica Conrad, a chocolatier who has been on Galler’s research and development team for six years, met ilovebelgium at the Liège factory to demonstrate the specialties of Galler. 9 years ago, Jean and his partners traveled to Japan where they were mesmerized by the idea and possibility of playing with enticing flavors. This is where the concept behind Galler’s ultimate specialty, Les Kaori, was born.

Les Kaori is a delicate box filled with dark chocolate covered praline matchsticks with three different pots of dipping juices. With 42 possible combinations, Les Kaori is the ultimate way to explore and to lose yourself in unexpected, yet delightful flavors. The process begins with painting a thin layer of dark chocolate on varying squares of praline. Once this layer has hardened, an expert chocolatier will use a mandolin to cut the squares into delicate strips. This process requires a keen eye, and perfect timing to fashion. Most chocolatiers in Galler are capable of handling the process, but Etienne is the best. His comfort with the praline and mandolin determine the perfect cut for Les Kaori. The strips will then receive another dark chocolate bath before being packaged together. A combination of cardamom, saffron, ginger, balsamic strawberry, yuzu, and coconut vanilla covered praline combined with dipping pots of kalamansi lime juice, orange peel with cocoa nibs, and green tea poppy complete a Kaori set. 

This summer, Galler continues to tantalize taste buds with the development of a new macaron. Created especially for the Belgian National Day the 21st of July, , this delicate small indulgency mimics the Belgian flag with red and black shells stuffed with a yellow mango passion fruit filling that is filled with a tart raspberry jelly. To create the perfect macaron, skill and timing is of the essence. Each cookie shell is checked for smooth tops before being used and must set for a few days to obtain the correct texture. A macaron should be crisp on the outside and light on the inside, while being firm enough to hold onto the oozing piped filling. 

Despite being found in your local market, Galler chocolates are decadent morsels filled with natural flavors that melt in your mouth. Next time you try a piece of Galler chocolate do not forget the words of Mr. Jean Galler : “Chocolate is Liberty!”

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