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Belgian man passionate about integrating Chinese culture with his approach to chocolate confectionary

(People's Daily Online) 14:06, November 19, 2021

Tom Taelman, a 40-year-old Belgian who runs a chocolate workshop in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, hopes to contribute to culture exchanges between China and his home country.

Taelman making chocolates. (Photo/chinanews.com)

"Belgian chocolate is well-known all over the world. I hope to promote Belgian chocolate in Chengdu so that more Chinese people can get to know Belgium," said Taelman who learnt the fundamental skills of chocolate production during his childhood when his family operated a chocolate factory in the western European country back then.

Taelman first set foot in Chengdu in 2013 during a business trip with an automobile company. Two years later, he got married with his wife Chen Li, a Sichuan native. In 2016, the couple co-founded a Belgian chocolate brand named "Choclito".

Under the influence of his wife, Taelman became increasingly interested in traditional Chinese culture and at one point the man came up with the idea of integrating Chinese elements with his chocolate making, hoping to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries in this way.

Taelman making chocolates. (Photo/chinanews.com)

In addition to chocolates featuring Sichuan-style mahjong, giant pandas and Sichuan opera masks, Taelman also launched new products in the shape of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, moon cakes, and traditional Chinese rice puddings.

"These wonderful innovations gained wide popularity among my customers," Taelman said with a smile on his face.

According to Taelman, many of his Belgian friends, after learning about the country’s fast economic development, broad business opportunities and amicable living environment, stated that they look forward to visiting China after the pandemic winds down.

"China has a long history and a rich culture," said Taelman, adding that he hoped more foreigners could come to learn the beauty of this country. 

Chocolates made by Taelman. (Photo/chinanews.com)

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)

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