Something that the Belgians do really well is chocolate, and when we’re in Bruges we can’t seem to get enough of it. We enjoy walking through the old town, sampling some of the local creations from the various artisanal shops around the city (and there are plenty). A few of the shops offer varieties with interesting and exotic flavors. You can try tobacco flavored, champagne or rum flavored, chocolate bars topped with fruit and nuts, or sliced fruit dipped in chocolate. The options are virtually endless. Depla Chocolatier at 20 Mariastraat makes some of our favorite chocolates, and we like to pop in for a box of what we refer to as ‘chocolate bark’, sheets of nut-filled milk, dark or white chocolate, broken into pieces. (For added entertainment, peak in the window next door to watch the candy crafters work their magic at Zucchero Confectioners). Other chocolate shops worth visiting include:
The Chocolate Lijn – The Chocolate Line – home of handcrafted chocolates with innovative flavors, like the exotic and complex ‘Asian Confetti ’ (caramel with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame seed praliné, sansho pepper and popping candy), intoxicating choices like ‘Fabienne’ (hazelnut praliné, marzipan, and brazil nuts with rum-soaked raisins), ‘Piaf’ (marzipan with pieces of orange marinated in Cointreau), and Saké (ganache with Japanese rice wine), and savory options like bacon-flavored ‘Miss Piggy’ (milk chocolate with almond praliné, crispy bacon and quinoa). They also offer more simple flavors like ‘Creole’ (bitter ganache with ‘Arabica’ espresso) and ‘Marrakech’ (white chocolate ganache with fresh mint).
Dumon Chocolatier – a chic family run shop offering their own versions and flavors in pretty little packages.
Considering there are so many chocolate producers in the area, it would be a shame not to have a museum dedicated to the stuff, and Bruges doesn’t disappoint. We look forward to visiting The Choco-Story Museum (Wijnzakstraat 2) next time we’re in the city… which, hopefully, will be soon.