Sunday, September 7, 2008

Best of Belgium

When I was in Brussels 11 years ago, I did the bare minimum. Photo of the Mannekin Pis (pissing boy) statue? Check. Photo of Grand Place (huge square in Central Brussels)? Check. Cone of frites and a Belgian waffle? Check. Then I got on a train and went to Germany. I think I was in Brussels for all of 3 hours. I didn't give the place a chance. This time around, we spent 2 days in Belgium and I have to say that Brussels is under rated, and Brugge (the other town we visited) is a real gem. These are sentiments echoed by many Belgians we met who were visibly disappointed after they heard that we were only in their country for a weekend. Rest assured, we'll be back.

The holy grail of Belgium includes Beer, Frites (French Fries), Mussels, and of course chocolate. They do them all well, but the Belgians have elevated Beer and Chocolate to an art form. Literally.

This chocolate is sold in a special "collection" with displays behind museum glass.

Think these are olives? Try chocolate covered almonds made to look like olives.

Want a pine cone? It's chocolate too.

Maybe you'd like a chocolate lunch? That's what the restaurant behind the fountain is serving. I like to think the statue is looking longingly at a chocolate shop :-)

For the non chocolate lovers, candy was plentiful too. I loved looking in the shop windows as the displays were very creative. I can only imagine what they're like around the holidays.

I think we had chocolates from 7 shops this weekend. I'd go back to Wittamer, Pierre Marcolini and Neuhaus in a heartbeat - but they're still no match for our gold standard, swiss chocolatier Teuscher.

No comments: