In life, there’s not only art. There is also food, hence this post. In a previous “Belgian Chocolate” episode, I was telling you about two of my favourite Belgian chocolate brands, New Tree and Neuhaus. I will continue my tale of “sweet Belgian magnificence” (yes) with additional recommendations.
Another very good Belgian chocolatier is the über-posh Pierre Marcolini. In the UK, you can buy his creations online; apparently they used to be sold at Selfridges, but sadly they are no more. His pralines are very refined, not exactly rich in cream – think tea, think rose, think thyme. His “Carrés2 de chocolat” make for very nice cocoa-presents.
In Belgium we like to celebrate with chocolate (and beer). Seasonal feasts like Easter and Saint Nicolas can always be celebrated with a creation from one of my favourite brands, Galler, which is also “Belgian Royal Warrant Holder”.
The big guy below is called Saint Nicolas, our version of Father Christmas, whom we celebrate on 6th December. As a child I would never get presents at Christmas, I would always get them at Saint Nicolas.
When I first left home for Milan, my parents very nicely started sending me package full of Galler chocolate. They stopped after one of the lovingly packed boxes ‘disappeared’ somewhere in the post between Belgium and Italy. Fortunately I now live in the UK, where so far the post has proved somewhat more reliable.
Galler chocolate used to be sold at Harrod’s but sadly isn’t anymore, so I have suggest a trip to my homeland, where it is widely available.
I recently was on the brink of a “chocolate crisis”, having eaten all my provisions. I was awaiting visitors from the homeland were to come with some fresh stuff, but in the meantime I had to find something to help me stay awake after my lunch break. Fortunately for me, up until recently I worked close to the London boutique of Daskalidès. To be honest, I had never heard of this brand until a Latvian colleague of mine pointed out to me that they were Belgian. Having tested their pralines, I must admit they’re not bad (try out the ones with caramel and salt).
Now that you have read this short, two-part “guide to good Belgian” chocolate, you must promise me one thing: never, ever, again buy Guylian chocolate (you know, the horrible shell-shaped chocolates) thinking they are typically Belgian. Note how open-minded I am being: I could have said: never, ever, again buy Guylian chocolate full stop.
PS: the lovely team at Galler has pointed to me that their chocolate is also available at Sainsbury’s. I haven’t seen any myself yet, perhaps because I don’t go the larger stores. Let me know if you can spot any in London!