This International Chocolate Day Visit Flanders: The Chocolate Centre
Chocolate is one of the world’s favorite flavors, possibly THE most loved taste across 7 continents
Flanders: a treat for the world’s sweetest tooth. You will not be surprised to hear that chocolate is a true Belgian/Flemish icon the world over. Year upon year, over 1.2 billion euro worth of the world’s best chocolates “made in Flanders” is shipped to chocolate-loving palates across the globe.
There’s a saying in Flanders, northern Belgium, that you are never really more than ten paces from good chocolate. And by good chocolate we mean good chocolate
Though ‘Belgian chocolate’ is the catch-all phrase, it’s Flanders that is the Belgian chocolate centre, and meltingly beautiful it is, too.
Whether you visit Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp or Ghent – or any of the other great little places in Flanders – just about every street has its own chocolatier. Shop windows glow warmly with bags of crystallised orange segments dipped in dark, dark chocolate; truffles of all kinds are piled high on platters; specially hand-crafted soft-centres of every shape and flavour plead to be devoured.
Various chocolate workshops
Participants gather at a unique Art Deco building near the Kouter. This building forms the backdrop for a fascinating chocolate workshop lasting two and a half hours. Under the guidance of a professional chef, they will take their first steps in their chocolate career, making milk chocolate truffles, mendiants, rice clusters and marzipan balls coated in dark chocolate. They can take all the treats they make home with them. Sure to be a pleasure!
Where? Concept Chocolate – Focus Flanders – Nederkouter 35 – 9000 Ghent – T +32 9 269 90 62 – e-mail. Make a reservation via our website (only accessible for groups).
After attending an interactive demonstration about the history of cocoa and chocolate making, participants put on an apron for a practical session. They’ll go into the workshop in small groups and get involved in the different steps in the creation of a praline: from the spreading of the chocolate to the final shaping. A master chocolatier will be on hand to help and explain what to do. Each participant will receive a small sachet of products made during the workshop.
Where? Zaabär – Charleroisesteenweg 125 – 1060 Brussels – T +32 2 533 95 80 – e-mail. Make a reservation via our website (for groups). Individual workshops on Wednesday & Saturday afternoon at 2.30 p.m., 60 minutes, € 20 per person.
Choco-Story offers a wide range of workshops for chocolate lovers. Participants first visit the chocolate museum where they go on a journey of discovery through the rich history of chocolate in all its facets. They will learn how chocolate is made and why Belgian chocolate is so famous the world over. Afterwards they will learn about the composition of the different kinds of chocolate and the tempering of chocolate. Then they will get to have a go themselves. Chocolate lovers can choose between a variety of workshops. The icing on the cake is that the last two workshops are rounded off with a tasting session accompanied by a glass of wine. Naturally, participants can take what they have made home for their family and friends to taste.
Where? Choco-Story – Wijnzakstraat 2 – 8000 Bruges – T +32 50 61 22 37 – e-mail. Make a reservation via our website (only accesible for groups).
Our chocolatier welcomes participants with a glass of Cava – after all, chocolate calls for a celebration! After a brief explanation of the theory, participants will learn how to temper chocolate and make mendiants (chocolate discs studded with nuts and dried fruits), orangettes (candied orange peel dipped in chocolate), crunchy clusters, fresh fruit dipped in chocolate, filled pralines and chocolate mousse. They can taste the results there and then or take them home to impress friends and family.
Where? Camelion Events – Vaartkom 53 – 3000 Leuven – T +32 474 97 12 54 – e-mail. Make a reservation via our website (only accesible for groups).
For chocolate lovers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, Chocola-Tuti offers four different workshops: the ‘Classic’ workshop, the ‘Truffles’ workshop (normal or mini-workshop) and the ‘A la Française’ workshop. Participants are introduced to the wonderful world of homemade chocolates and learn some basic principles. At the end of the workshop they can take home a box of mendiants, ganache, pralines, crunchy chocolate clusters or truffles they have made themselves, nicely arranged in a handmade chocolate shell. Chocola-Tuti also offers workshops on site, within Belgium and abroad. Also available: dessert making, tastings, demonstrations and talks.
Where? Chocola-Tuti – Muntstraat 15 – 3000 Leuven – T +32 477 30 44 38 – e-mail. Make a reservation via our website (only accesible for groups).
After a tour of the factory, participants are invited to become apprentice chocolate makers, rubbing shoulders with our employees. They learn to handle a piping bag, pour chocolate into the moulds of their choosing and fill chocolates. Participants are able to play an active role and let their imagination roam free. Fans of food pairing can finish off their workshop with a chocolate and beer or wine tasting. Concept Chocolate also offers workshops on site.
Where? Concept Chocolate – Distelstraat 19 – 1030 Brussels – T +32 2 242 94 66 – e-mail. Make a reservation via our website (only accesible for groups).
During the Planète Chocolat Workshop, participants come into the “atelier” to create their own pralines, step by step, from the spreading of the chocolate to the chocolate to the final shaping (tempering, crystallization, mouling, filling, unmoulding). A master chocolatier will be on hand to help and explain what to do. Afterwards, each person also receive a small gift: a sachet with some of the pralines (pralines, caraques, trail mixes, truffles and orangettes) which have been made on the spot! The workshop is followed with a tasting of hot chocolate to drink and pralines. The workshop can be combined with the demonstration.
Where? Planète Chocolat – Lombardstraat 24 – 1000 Brussels – T +32 2 511 07 55 – e-mail. Make a reservation via our website (for groups). Individual workshops are also possible upon request.
Top Belgian Chocolate Tearooms Chocolate Events
In the tearoom of the Old Chocolate House, a family company, founded by Françoise Thomaes and her children Barbe and Bram, visitors can enjoy the famous hot chocolate and homemade treat.
Huize Colette Tearoom
Huize Colette is a chocolate cafe next to a secondhand bookshop. The young owners, Aline Van Duyse and Ottelien Muller, have managed to create an oasis of calm at the heart of Ghent. They serve homemade products made by Aline, who is both a chocolate maker and a pastry chef. At the counter, you can order several types of hot chocolate, from white to dark, accompanied by home-baked brownies, scones or cake if you wish! To emphasise the homely atmosphere, secondhand books are displayed all around, to read there or to buy.
As soon as you step into this chocolate bar you are immersed in chocolate: chocolate-coloured walls, photos of chocolate and cocoa beans on the walls and from where you’re sitting you can see right into the chocolate maker’s workshop. Come here for a special chocolate – and coffee – experience.
Quetzal Tearoom – Antwerp
‘There’s more to life than chocolate, but not right now’, is the saying on the landing page of Quetzal chocolate bar with establishments in Ghent, Antwerp and Leuven. This sets the tone. Quetzal is a unique concept for a chocolate bar with an untameable passion for chocolate, its culture and history. Chocolate lovers can step inside a world of sophisticated flavours and surprising combinations and go on a journey of discovery through an extensive assortment of hot chocolate. A must for chocoholics!
De Proeverie Tearoom
De Proeverie has long been a legend in Bruges: among locals and tourists alike. The interior is English-inspired with an eye for detail and close attention to the comfort of visitors with snug tables, comfortable chairs and even an open fireplace to complete the cosy ambiance. De Proeverie represents quality, traditionallp-made products and friendly service. The house specialities are hot milk with freshly melted traditionally-made chocolate from Chocolaterie Sukerbuyc, located directly opposite the tearoom. Visitors with a sweet tooth can also taste and enjoy homemade ice cream, delicious cakes, scones and other fine baking.
Chocolate events Salon du Chocolat
The Salon du Chocolat is aimed at people with a passion for chocolate. It starts with a fabulous chocolate fashion show. Chocolate lovers can then not only try and buy the finest creations of master chocolatiers but also attend demonstrations and interactive workshops by leading chocolatiers.
February 2016 – Brussels (exact date not yet available)
Meanwhile, worldwide exports of the delicacy have been going from strength to strength. Flemish manufacturers have managed this by marrying traditional craftsmanship and ancestral recipes to a dynamic innovation drive in line with ever-changing market trends and consumption patterns: new flavour variations, health and functional ranges (no-added-sugar, reduced-fat, low-carb, lowcalorie, fibre-fortified, vitamin-enriched, sustainably sourced, organic, single-origin, high-cocoacontent,100% cocoa-butter based Global chocoholics really are spoilt for choice in Flanders. Luckily, they can now fall back on the present report as a great sourcing tool for “all things sweet”.
Also featuring, are companies manufacturing the equipment these delicacies are m