I am like water for chocolate for Belgium chocolate. Not the perfect metaphor for a French/Dutch speaking country, but you get the point. Dotted around Grand Place and around every street corner were chocolatiers selling every type of chocolate imaginable. In some of them, you could watch as chocolate was manually molded and stuffed with different fillings. At many shops, they offered samples to which we gladly accepted.
The first chocolate I had in Belgium was from a store next to the King’s House and was a milk chocolate heart filled with hazelnut and sugar.
Why, you may ask, is Belgium Chocolate the most famous chocolate in the world? Godiva, Leonidas, Neuhaus, Marcolini, Galler, & Cote d’or.
But chocolate really isn’t the only specialty. Sweets in general are phenomenal. Madame Chung bought for us these lavender, hard-coated, soft-centered, pyramid-shaped sweets. The flavor was very different that anything I’d ever had before and had an interesting texture. I wasn’t a fan, but, apparently, these sweets were the most popular candy in Belgium. We also visited a macaroon store where I was mostly just enamored by the vast amount of colors in the store.
Later on, Madame Chung told us how this chocolate covered cookie with a marshmallow on top use to be all she ate as young girl. Naturally, we all had to get one and try it. It tasted like a s’more on steroids aka so-so-delicious. Another favorite of mine was this chocolate sold on sticks. After a query as to whether this was to be eaten, we learned this was stirred in hot milk and used to make hot chocolate.
On the last day on our way to the train station, we stopped at St. Hubert’s Gallery for one last walk. There we found one of the most ancient chocolate boutiques and purchased a plethora of chocolates for the ride home. I didn’t take any picture of the chocolate since it was too delicious to wait for, but here are descriptions of each chocolate:
– Brown chocolate 1/2 a cubic inch with 48% coco with a chocolate mousse filling (delicious if you like plain chocolate)
– Dark chocolate stuffed with a white filling with black vanilla beans (perfect for vanilla lovers)
– Black ganache with nougat (chewy and crunchy and had a kick to it)
– Chocolate truffle dusted with coco powder (best truffle I’ve ever tasted)
– Dark chocolate covered sugared lemon and orange peels (light and a good way to end a chocolate session)
– Chocolate marzipan (ew but probably tasty if you like marzipan)
Needless to say if you are in Belgium, go buy yourself some chocolate.