If you ask people what they know about Belgium, 90% of them will answer that it is famous for its chocolate (besides Beer and Waffles..) . More in particular the Belgian “Praline or Bonbon” .
Jean Neuhaus(from the famous Chocolate brand) was one of the first people in the 20st century to produce the famous Belgian Bonbon. Congo (in Africa) was as some of you might know, a Belgian colony during this period and the cacao was originally from there. Today the cacao comes from all over the world. But we have to make a distinction between factory produced chocolates and artisanal made chocolates. When I’m talking about factory made chocolates, I mean that they are made on an assembly line … From these chocolates my absolute favorite (and I think from most Belgians ) especially price-quality would be Leonidas with their world famous Manon a White chocolate filled with praliné with coffee butter cream. The advantage of these brands is that you can buy them all over the whole world and they will always taste the same.
When I am talking about artisanal made chocolates, it means that they are handmade by a master chocolatier. And I have a few favorite ones. First of all Del Rey , Located right in the center of Antwerp’s diamond district (to all the men out there, if you take your wife, watch out! You’ll either have to buy some chocolates or some diamonds) and is a highly rewarded chocolatier . Del Rey is also part of Relais Desserts. They have one foreign branch, which is located in Japan. Might I advise you that before buying chocolates, piece, icecream, etc… you might want to make a short trip to Del Rey’s tasting room. I’ve already spent quite some time here with my mom (who really loves sweet food). I usually choose the chocolate plate which contains an assortiment of refined chocolate pastries, chocolate crème brûlée , etc… (I once took it with a hot chocolate, don’t ever do that, it really was a chocolate overload). If I could I would even ate the plate, it is sooooo good!! For all you non sweet lovers, at the tasting room they also have a regular lunch menu. (so now you’re out of excuses).
See tomorrow’s post to see some more ….