Belgian chocolate at its best

Belgium is known for having some of the best chocolate in the world. As you learn more about the world of chocolate, you learn that there really is no such thing as Belgian chocolate as no cocoa is grown in Belgium. There is plenty of fantastic Belgian-made chocolate, and in this post, I’ll introduce you to a couple of Belgium’s finest chocolatiers.

some of the amazing chocolate I brought home from Belgium

a search for the best belgian chocolate

Prior to 2013, a chocolate expedition to Belgium best began at La Maison des Maitres Chocolatiers, a wonderful shop located right in the Grand Place of Brussels which featured the chocolate products of 10 of Belgium’s best. The idea behind this inspirational place of chocolate was to introduce you to selected offerings from a variety of Belgian chocolatiers, saving you time and effort. I’ve learned that La Maison has now closed, so if you’ve only got a short amount of time to make your chocolate discoveries, another place to consider is Planète Chocolat, located near the Grand Place, where you’ll see chocolate demonstrations and have the opportunity to taste a selection of chocolate to help you find your favourite.

belgian-chocolate

Tasting some succulent drinking chocolate at La Maison in Brussels.

Upbeat and enthusiastic  Laurent Gerbaud Chocolatier has a strong connection to Asia, as he lived in China for two years. He takes great pride in the purity of his chocolates, with no added sugar, butter, alcohol or preservatives and offers a terrific selection of exotic fruit such as Egyptian prunes, figs from Turkey and South African apricots that are happily covered in thick dark chocolate. Gerbaud has a lovely new shop in Brussels which is definitely worth a visit.

belgian-chocolate

the very charming, Laurent Gerbaud

Edouard Bechoux of of Florenville, Belgium, has more of a reserved nature, but he is equally creative, and started his culinary training at the young age of 14. He spent several years living in Tuscany and brings that influence to the kitchen in his bistro, which by no surprise, serves a lot of chocolate on the menu. I enjoyed beef served with a Ugandan chocolate sauce. It was a delicious example of cocoa cuisine.

Les chocolats d’Edouard also specializes in drinking chocolate and has 17 kinds of hot chocolate, 12 kinds of cool chocolate and 35 desserts for sale in addition to the extensive selection of fresh chocolates, all made on site.

belgian-chocolate

Edouard Bechoux’s creativity with chocolate is amazing and inspiring.

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Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

20 Responses

  1. epalmer says:

    Doreen,
    Your chocolate travels to and experiences in Belgium sound wonderful! You’ve got me salivating for chocolate! Liz

  2. Thanks, Liz! That’s the idea! Stay tuned for more tantalizing posts. You’ll really like the next one!

  3. Kathe says:

    Oh, Doreen ~ I’ve just realized that exactly two years ago we were in Brussels basking in the glow of these terrific chocolatiers. Such sweet memories, literally! I think Laurent was one of my favourites. Remember how he was just setting up his new shop but invited us in with such warmth?

    Sigh.
    Kathe
    Your partner in chocolate

  4. Hi, Kathe. Yes, how could I forget the maiden voyage of Chocolatour? It was great fun, and so educational, learning how the small operators do things compared to the larger ones. This has been such a journey of discovery for me and it was wonderful having you share the experiences for Belgium, France & Switzerland. Of all my travelling companions/tasters to date, you are the only one who never flinched at “just one more chocolate.” You truly are a trooper, and yes, Laurent is totally charming. I’m hoping to see him when we launch the book in Belgium.

    Be sure to join us here again in 2 weeks when we’ll share memories of Mr. Galler.

  5. Thanks for reminding us to try and taste chocolate from different parts of the world whenever possible. They all have their “sweet” advantages.

  6. Thanks, Christine. And yes, cocoa beans from various parts of the planet have a very distinct flavour that differentiates them, just as grapes from various part of the world create unique and distinct vintages. And in turn, different parts of the world process their cocoa beans differently, which results in different textures and flavour nuances in chocolate created from the same beans (grown elsewhere.) It’s a complex, but very tasty world!

  7. Amberr Meadows says:

    Belgium chocolate is so delicious, but then again, any chocolate is lovely 😉

  8. Thanks for subscribing to the blog, Amberr, and for your comment.

    Once you’ve hung around here awhile, you’ll learn that there is quite a difference between various chocolates. Some are so good they make you squeal. Others … you’d wished you’d not taken in the calories. Hope to see you here again at the end of the month when I’ll introduce you to the King of Chocolatiers!

  9. Jules Hallum says:

    Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!?

  10. Adeline says:

    Oooohhh!!! Those chocolate goodies really look yummy. Thanks so much for sharing Doreen. I’m definitely looking forward to many more of your chocolate adventures. 🙂

    • Thanks for joining us on the Chocolatour, Adeline! Yes, there will be many more adventures forthcoming. Come to think of it … I don’t think I’ll ever finish tasting the chocolate of the world! Looks like this will be a lifelong project!

  11. My husband is Belgian and will never let me say that Belgian is not the best in the world… fortunately I agree with him! Thanks for this lovely insight into the wonderful world of chocolate making in Belgium.

  12. Jana Hartley says:

    OH, now you are talkin’ my language. European chocolate is just the most fantastic thing on earth. That suitcase filled with chocolate just speaks to my heart! Yeah, I know, I write a health care blog. We all have a weakness here ad there ya know!

    Doreen, I want you to send me your address to my email as I would like to send you a box of chocolates to you from a place in Leavenworth Washington. I never go to Leavenworth without stopping to see this guy. He has a shop names Schocolat and his wife is the chocolatier. Their chocolates are absolutely fantastic and I would really love for you to try them. You can see my post on them here: http://www.adoctorandanurse.com/2010/a-weekend-getaway-in-the-pacific-northwest/

    Email me at adoctorandanurse@gmail.com with your address and I will send you a box. Love you new site, Jana

  13. Jana, that is such a wonderfully generous gesture! Thank you SO much. I have responded to you by e-mail.

    It is only thru tips from readers such as you that I discover some of the smaller shops in small centres I would not otherwise know about. I will definitely try and get to Leavenworth, WA over the next year. I’ve heard of Leavenworth, TX, but never of Leavenworth, WA. So many places to discover. And so many chocolates to try!

    Thanks for joining us on the Chocolatour. Please remember to subscribe so that you don’t miss a tantalizing post!

  14. Suzi Thomas says:

    Hi Doreen!
    Thanks for your post on my blog! Yours looks fantastic!! I hope to keep checking back in here regularly for all that you have to share! Thanks again!! Good luck!
    Suzi

  15. Looks like you have put a lot of effort in your blog, thank you for taking the time to write such useful information.

  16. Jarrod Seidner says:

    Useful info. Hope to see more good posts in the future.

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