Brugge, City of Chocolate
There are only a few problems that time can’t solve and those are solved by chocolate. Being a foodie I don’t just put any kind of chocolate in my mouth. Therefor it is only logical that for my chocolate hunt I ended up in Brugge, Belgium. The city is known for her chocolate and lace and attracts many tourists from all over the world. Admitting that I’m not a big fan of tourist, this cute place was still worth the visit.
Chocolate shops, boutiques and ateliers are at every corner and the smell of fresh hot chocolate can be smelled while walking down the streets. Lolypops, bonbons, covered fruit, cookies, nuts, spices, easter eggs, cakes, beer and even the most beautiful art pieces with chocolate! Everything you can think of is probably there in it’s chocolate version! Even the colors and flavors seem to be limitless. From green lime chocolate and white raspberry to milk with cinnamon and dark with pepper. One of my favorites was definitely the salted butter caramel flaked chocolate.
Almost in every shop they offer little samples of their chocolates. You can imagin that after a few hours of chocolate in your mouth, nose, hands, ears and eyes, a refreshing local beer in the sun and some traditional Belgium patato fries comes as a nice counterpart. Brugge has a big square that offers you multiple choices of restaurants to sit outside. While enjoying your drink you see horses and carriages pass by, children run around the big square playing tag while hearing the bell tower play the old bells. On a sunny day this is pretty good!
Enough talk about this cozy Belgium city: Let’s talk bounty!
Everyone who has ever been in Brugge knows that “La Belgique Gourmande” is a MUST VISIT! If you haven’t been to this shop, you have not experienced Brugge to the fullest. A passionate foodlover once wispered this in my ear and therefore it was my first shop to hunt. Stepping through the always open door you are welcomed by a rainbow of colors that turns out to be candy, instead of the well-known chocolate. Also known as the famous “Cuberdons”. These delicious cone-shaped treats are an unexpected fruity surprise with their liquid core. However, Brugge is still the city of chocolate and further down the shop the inevitable chocolate creations are screaming for your attention. As you probably understand it was impossible for me to leave without a bag of cuberdons and a small collection of their dark chocolate covered fruits and nuts. (Orange, florantines and mendicants)
Two stores further down the street the smell of hot chocolate drew me into “le Comptoir de Mathilde”. Places like these are reason that Brugge may call herself “City of Chocolate”. Everything in this place breaths chocolate. It gives you the feeling that it has been that way for years and will probably always stay the same. Their fourty(ish) flavours of hot chocolate milk only adds to this feeling. After drinking one cup made ready in Mathilde, I got six more different flavors to taste at home. You never know when that Chocolate Emergency Moment hits you!
At the big square in the middle of town there is a huge bookstore. Ignore that one and visit the super small and cozy bookstore next door. They have a stunning collection of old classics and you get free easter eggs on the payment counter. I love bookstores and I believe that books are a true gift for ones soul. Especially the little bookstores always get my attention. In the middle of the old classics my eye was caught by a title that I had been hoping to find for quite a while now: The Jungle Books. A capturing story that is much more then just a boy in the jungle. Without hesitating the book was added to my treasures.
My hunt was already proving to be quite succesfull when suddenly I walked upon a wall of diverse beers. The sight of so many never seen before brands made me curious and so I ended up walking into a “Museum of Beers”. Remembering a special beer that I once had with my yoga friend and teacher (Rachel Brathen) in an African restaurant, I started searching. Wall after wall, after wall of beer. I had never seen so many beers in one place! In the end I actually managed to find it in the cellars: Coconut Beer!
Last, but not least, the chocolate chips that I just finished while writing these lines. “Chocolat oe Praline” was a quick visit. I was going for their advised specialty: Handmade pralines made of the purest and finest chocolate. Since I still have their taste in my mouth, I can honestly tell you that these crisps will not dissapoint. They are available in white, milk and dark chocolate. As a dark chocolate fan I went for the last option.
With this bounty my treasure hunt is complete. Brugge was definitely worth the visit. As soon as my ECB (Emergency Chocolate Box) gets raided I will be back to stack up again!
Love and Chocolate kisses,