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donderdag 31 oktober 2013

Chocolate

I have given it some thought, and decided in this post I’ll tell you a little about… Chocolate!
During the walks, this is the moment when I have the undivided attention of the ladies in the group. But, the men listen in carefully as well.
When walking through Bruges, you see a lot of chocolate shops. If you would stop in every one of them, I’m afraid that would be bad for a few things. You know what they say, “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”.
I’m not going to discredit any shop, because they all sell Belgian chocolate. And it IS the best in the world.
Off all the groups I’ve guided through Bruges, I had a man from Switzerland. He told the Swiss chocolate was better than ours, with a big smile on his face. I knew he tried to get a quick and witty response out of me. So when I remarked that the Swiss have “purple cows” (Milka) everyone found it a witty response.
Let’s continue on the chocolate shops. You can buy different sizes of cardboard boxes of chocolates (=pralines), nicely wrapped. It’s + €24 per kilo, but you can get smaller boxes of course, or small baggs. What many tourists don’t know is that you can choose which “pralines” you’d like in your box. The shops have standard boxes made in advance with a small variation of different tastes and fillings. But you can make your own box, for the same price. For instance, all white, all dark, all liquor (although this will cost you more I think). You must also note that if you buy a standard box, most of the chocolates will be filled with praline. This is a more heavier filling, which makes that you will have less chocolates than boxes with other fillings.
If you really want to go wild and spend money, you should go to the “Chocolate Line”. It’s located at the Simon Stevinplein. The place where the best “chocolatier” (aka chocolate maker) of Belgium resides. In the back you’ll see the workplace where magic happens before your eyes. If you just want to see those guys making chocolate, that’s for free. And they also have special things for the chocoholics, for example, the chocolate body paint. Imagine, covered in chocolate…
For the budget travelers, don’t worry. If you want to get a taste of the real Belgian chocolate but have a tight budget, you just find a supermarket in town and get a nice, big bar of chocolate there. Much cheaper, maybe not so fancy but definitely good quality. Just go in, some supermarkets have a aisle of chocolate! I can imagine it can be difficult to choose from. Well, my personal favorites are “Cote d’Or” and “Callebaut”.
So, you know a little about what to look for, where to find different sorts of chocolate. Even got a tip for good quality, and fairly priced.

Some quick last facts on chocolate. It is said that it’s good for your heart (read that somewhere), it’s not bad for your teeth… But, that only goes for the pure chocolate. So, the darker, the better!
Lots of sugar is added in the mixture when chocolate is made. Chocolate itself is kind of bitter in taste.
Oh, I can’t resist a nice piece of chocolate. As a matter of fact… I’m going to get me one, right now.

Until next time !