Get chocolate in Brussels during the “Chocolate Weeks” – World Meanderings (n°38)
By Annick Dournes & Frédéric de Poligny
For two weeks, from 1st to 15 February 2017, Brussels is going to be the meeting place for all chocolate addicts. With its exceptional chocolate maker fame, it comes as no surprise that Belgium is traditionally seen as the N° 1 quality confectionery country. During these two weeks over 30 confectioners from Brussels will demonstrate this reputation and welcome all gourmets with tempting delicacies.
It seems that since last year the British are the number one chocoholics in Europe being neck and neck with the Germans! With over 11 kg (25 lb) of chocolate per person per year they took the lead, while with “only” 8,5 kg (18 lb) the Belgians fell far behind. Will the Britons defeat them at home? Lets get a “Chocolate Pass” and stay worthy of this title… To discover products created by Brussels area artisanal chocolate makers the Chocolate Pass contains 10 vouchers that you will be able to exchange for a tasting at 10 different confectioners of your choice among a list of over 30 shops. The Chocolate Pass is only 5 Euro and you can easily get it on line or, once in Brussels, at the Welcome Centre set in the City Hall on the beautiful “Grand-Place” or at any of the participating confectioners.
Once you will start will you be able to stop tasting or will you need to get a second or even a third Chocolate Pass? The confectioners have set their imagination free to create delicacies and it will be hard to resist the temptation. At the “Art du Pralin” you should taste the “Mandarine Confite”, a candid mandarin coated with dark chocolate or the “Maca Praliné”, a walnut and nut brittle. http://en-artdepraslin-be.micrologiciel.com/
Next go to “Passion Chocolat” where they use only the best quality produce to elaborate delicious ganaches, pralines, truffles or marzipans… http://www.passionchocolat.be/passion-chocolat/uk/index.html
At “Planete Chocolat”, after tasting one or two of their top quality Belgian chocolates you can also learn to make your own chocolate with a master chocolatier in their artisanal factory. Step by step you will learn how to temper chocolate paste, mould it and take your masterpiece back home. Fun and sensual all at once! https://www.galler.com/en
These are only a few examples of the different places that will welcome you during the Brussels Chocolate Weeks and your pass is valid all along these two exceptional weeks. More information: https://visit.brussels/en/tag/chocolate-pass
To make the most of your chocolate city-break in Brussels, go there from 10 to 12 February, a week-end during which a chocolate fair, the “Salon du Chocolat de Bruxelles”, will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself even more deeply into the chocolate world. This is the largest world event dedicated to chocolate and over 110 chocolate makers, confectioners, cacao experts, designers and starred chefs will present their know-how, the new trends and most of all will make you taste their new produce. The fair also is a collection of varied activities both for adults and kids. On stage, chefs will demonstrate savoury and sweet recipes that you will be invited to taste. There will be cooking and pastry classes, conferences held by Belgian and international celebrities, a chocolate sculptures exhibition and fashion shows where live models wear chocolate dresses made by pastry chefs and fashion designers.
The fair is set in former industrial buildings, called Tour & Taxis, made of bricks, glass and iron. It’s a huge place easily reached from Brussels city centre by bus, underground or even by boat! There actually is a scheduled shuttle boat, the Waterbus, and it will take you along the Brussels’ canals from the city centre to the Sainctelette Wharf from where you’ll have a direct access to Tour & Taxis.
For more information about Belgium and Brussels: https://visit.brussels/en
Text © Annick Dournes & Frederic de Poligny