I know of many travellers that like to seek out a particular food in each country they visit. For some it is to fulfill a personal goal, such as eating at various fast food chains, testing if they taste different compared to their own country. It can also be more obscure, such as trying all the weird and wonderful delicacies from around the world, including crickets, cows tongue or sheep brain. I have my own foodie secret and although mine might not seem as overly crazy as some, it is certainly my biggest weakness in life. My name is Leah, and I am a chocoholic.
Phew! It feels so much better to finally clear the air. Ha, just kidding! If you know me well, you’d already be aware that I have an extreme addiction to chocolate. If I have some in my possession, I’m finishing it. In my world there is no saving it for later or eating in moderation, unless moderation is visiting the fridge every 10mins to snack until it’s all gone. I honestly don’t understand people who can keep chocolate in the fridge (yes in the fridge, you pantry people are weird) for weeks at a time and not touch it. Can’t you hear it calling your name from the kitchen?
So you can understand how this is travel related, I basically make it my mission to try any and all chocolate I can get my hands on from around the world. Dark, milk, white? I don’t care, I’ll eat it all! It’s a gluttonous habit and one I’ve happily let join me on my international journey. Now, if we are to discuss chocolate from some of the many countries I’ve visited, I’d obviously strongly warn you away from Israeli and American products and encourage you to consume your weight in Belgian or Swiss chocolate. After recently visiting the land of chocolate that is Belgium, I feel my chocolate addiction has now only been increased tenfold.
(Eating Belgian waffles in Brussels)
In Belgium, chocolate can literally be consumed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I personally like to eat yoghurt and granola for breakfast, but in Belgium this consists of big chunks of chocolate mixed with chocolate covered oats. No fruit to start the day, only sweet treats here! Chocolatiers line the streets, one after the other. It’s like my Willy Wonka dreams came true. For those of you insane people who might get sick of all the chocolate, don’t worry there are other options for you. Try eating a waffle instead, drizzled with chocolate on top of course!
In the many polls that have been taken and votes that have been counted, the world was right to conclude that Belgium is the best at making praline, after all, they did invent it. It can get quite pricey to buy these little cubes of sweetness, but it’s worth it for the sugar coma you’ll find yourself in shortly after. There are so many flavours and shapes to pick from at each major chocolatier that you’re certain to find your favourite combination. The best way to choose is to test them all! Some of the best chocolatiers to visit include Leonidis, Godiva, Cote d’Or, Pierre Marcolini and Neuhaus. They all vary in price, but my personal favourite was Leonidis as this brand offers the lowest prices whilst creating chocolates made of pure cocoa butter and 100% pure ingredients.
(Gorgeous shop fronts in Bruges, Belgium)
On one of my free days I ventured from Brussels to the quaint, but well known city of Bruges and found myself within my own chocolate heaven. The streets are gorgeously picturesque and during the Christmas holiday season they should call it the Chocolate Winter Wonderland. If you’re as big a chocolate lover as me, or even if you aren’t I still have to urge you to visit the Choco-Story Museum in Bruges. It gives you the entire history of chocolate and how it came to be known as a Belgian treat, after its origination in South America as a special drink. If you’re finding this all too sickly sweet, Bruges also has a fries museum dedicated to the potato and how Belgium has become the number one producer and seller of fries in the world. You can buy a dual ticket for both museums at Choco-Story for only €14! I do also personally love Fritland, a takeaway in Brussels, for some of the tastiest fries you’ll ever try. Then of course you’ll have to follow up all these food museums with a tasting of many of the Belgian beers available at 2be Beer Store. There are hundreds of beers to try, but my favourite was a beer mixed with sherry from the brand called Delirium Tremens.
(Chocolate and beer, the only way to be in Belgium)
I’m sure after all this chocolate talk you’re salivating at the mouth and even if you might consume thousands of calories whilst in Belgium, it’s perfectly ok to eat as much chocolate as you like. It has been scientifically proven that chocolate is good for you! Trust me, they’ve done studies to show it doesn’t cause heart disease, it can lift your mood and your libido, plus eating some chocolate a day can also help ward off illness! It’s all medical stuff and full of percentages, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one and start gorging on chocolate asap. I can tell you though that I don’t need a good excuse to eat chocolate, but all of these should surely help to convince you!
Hot chocolate greetings!
♥ Love from Leah