Belgium's notorious colonization of the African Congo led to a steady supply of cocoa beans. In 1912, a Brussels chocolatier named Jean Neuhaus invented the "praline" -- he used couverture, a coating chocolate, to surround a variety of fillings, nuts, fruit preserves, creams and so on. (These are not to be confused with pralines in the US South, which are a pecan candy.) Neuhaus' wife invented a praline package called the ballotin, and the business took off.
Today, the glory of touring Belgium's chocolate shops lies in sampling the many different flavor combinations that result from chocolatiers creativity. Belgium produces 172,000 tons of chocolate per year with 2,000 chocolate shops, so culinary travelers, pack your sweet tooth!