Belgium: The Chocolate Lover’s Guide

December 14, 2014

Nobody does chocolate as well as Belgium, making it the perfect destination for lovers of the sweet stuff. Belgium’s two most popular cities for UK tourists are Bruges and Brussels, both of which are packed with chocolate.

With over 70 chocolate shops in the city, and a dedicated Guild of Chocolatiers, it is easy to see why Bruges is considered one of the chocolate capitals of Europe, if not the world.

The Guild of Chocolatiers helps to ensure that you’re guaranteed the finest quality and ingredients.

Bruges is home to Choco-Story at the Chocolate Museum, which tells the story of the transformation from cocoa to into chocolate, and how it has been consumed since the days of the Aztecs to the present day. You can also find Roose’s Chocolate world in Bruges, a hands-on chocolate-making experience where groups can watch a demonstration of praline being created and even sample some themselves!

Brussels is the home of the praline, a style of chocolate with a crisp shell and a softer centre, which was invented by a local pharmacist who used chocolate to mask the taste of his medicine. Take a trip to Neuhaus and you can sample pralines based on these original recipes, but with the medicine replaced by artisanal nougatine or fresh cream instead.

For chocolate with a royal endorsement, visit the Wittamer chocolate shop, where the cake for the last Belgian Royal Wedding was made! Wittamer also prides itself on an experimental approach to chocolate and at the moment you can buy pralines which include crickets (yes, you read that right, crickets), which supposedly taste exactly like pepper. You might have to be brave for that one, but one thing’s for sure, you won’t get that anywhere else!

If you’re looking for organic or gluten-free options, then Belvas should be your first stop. Belvas is the first organic chocolaterie in northern Europe, and is also self-sufficient for half of its energy needs. Not only is the chocolate organic and ethical, it’s also free from hydrogenated fats and gluten, and very, very tasty!

So there you have it, if you’re a chocolate lover planning a trip abroad this winter, look no further than Europe’s chocolate capital.

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