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Kerry Beal

Chocdoc - Checking out Chocolate in Belgium

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Posted (edited)

It's that time again - I'm the group leader for a group of newly minted Ecole Chocolat grads taking a masters course. This one is in Wieze, Belgium. You may recall my last trip as group leader for Ecole when I took a group to Valrhona in France.

 

I got my packing done on Sunday - was all prepared, car was to pick me up at 6 pm to drive me to the airport. Got a little suspicious when the child was late getting off the bus from school - the driver said that the highway wasn't moving well. At about 5:15 I got a call from the limo service to say that the car that was coming to get me had moved 2 car lengths in the last 30 minutes. Apparently a car roll over on the westbound lanes of highway had ejected two people into the eastbound lanes and the entire highway was closed in both directions.

 

So I set out in my own vehicle - which of course had no gas, and needed oil... at least the toll highway got me past the problem.  Airport wants $175/week to park - so a quick text to @Alleguede and he came to fetch my car from the airport to park in his driveway until I return.

 

So here I sit in the lounge awaiting my departure.

 

I'm doing the Jet Lag program that I have done several times before that has worked well for me. Overcoming Jet Lag, by Charles F. Ehret and Lynne Waller Scanlon. This involves food and caffeine modification. So for the past 4 days I've been drinking Rooibos Provence throughout the day and between 3 and 4:30 slugging down as much real tea as my bladder can handle! The dietary part consists of alternating days of 'feasting' and 'fasting' with high protein breakfasts and lunches and high carb dinners. I had planned to get the driver to stop at the Tim Horton's at the top of my street to pick up the black coffee that is to be taken at around 6 pm the day of travel - unfortunately as I was driving myself that didn't happen - so when I hit the lounge I drank down two cups of strong black caffeinated coffee - better late than never. I'm not much of a coffee drinker - and particularly not black. Should be good for some palpitations when I start the next part of the program which is to sleep as soon as I get on the plane!

 

This is a 'fasting day', 800 calories suggested - I left my carb meal until I reached the lounge.

 

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One of the two cups of coffee.

 

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These are the "Gentlemen Retire to the Library' chocolates that I posted before that I am taking along - port wine PDF and tobacco ganache. I used Sosa tobacco flavouring this time instead of a cigar so I don't have to concern myself with nicotine poisoning.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Smithy Adjusted Amazon link (log)
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IMG_6254.thumb.JPG.490a9c0e8b21ec12b52dd9144dfb7e2f.JPG

 

sparking water - would have preferred the proseccco but Jet Lag considerations 

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The seat was not conducive to sleep until somewhere in the middle of the night the flight attendant apologized profusely for not explaining it and reset the pump that puts air into the bottom section of the seat. Before that I felt like I was sleeping on a very old sofa bed with the metal piece that is right at hip level!

 

I went right to sleep (yeah right) after we took off - so rather than have the steak offered I asked if I could add it to my breakfast omelet so for this 'feast' day I could have a large quantity of protein. My flight attendant was a foodie too - he sympathized with me over the food.

 

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Camomile tea - not one of my favourites - but caffeine free.

 

I made my way to the lounge in Frankfurt while awaiting my connection to Brussels - you know you are in Germany when there is a rack of pretzels beside the beer.

 

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I'm sitting enjoying a nice fruit infusion now - so much better than camomile. 

 

IMG_6259.thumb.jpg.73cbba5b89145482a26243ec5547ac7a.jpg

 

 

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When last I was in the Frankfurt airport there were frankfurters in the lounge.

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$175 to park for a week :o

 

 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Shelby said:

$175 to park for a week :o

 

 

 

 

My reaction too

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That makes parking at JFK (about $18 per day) look like a bargain!

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27 minutes ago, KennethT said:

That makes parking at JFK (about $18 per day) look like a bargain!

There are cheaper outlying places to park - but given the time crunch - parking - taking a bus into the terminal etc wouldn't not have been an option.

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The 55 minute flight on Lufthansa served me far better food than anything I had on Air Canada.

 

IMG_6260.thumb.JPG.566b56e28e9b7bfed37d84dd9b63c5c8.JPG

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kerry Beal said:

The 55 minute flight on Lufthansa served me far better food than anything I had on Air Canada.

 

IMG_6260.thumb.JPG.566b56e28e9b7bfed37d84dd9b63c5c8.JPG

 

 

 

. Somehow Lufthansa manages to put out decent food. UA would say that they couldn't possibly serve food on a 55 min flight. Which probably is a blessing

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I remember being served a full meal (with drink first) on a 45 minute flight on Bangkok to Chiang Mai on Thai Airways...  in coach... and it was quite good... and all for less than $100 round trip...

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I'm on the back of the hotel - which given the number of bell ringing churches on the other side is rather appealing.

 

IMG_6262.thumb.jpg.3d603408db194c6de5aa1299ff4c477a.jpg

 

Did some walking around after I got settled in - wasn't in the mood to eat by myself in a restaurant today so found an epicerie close by and grabbed a couple of carby things for my 'feast' dinner.

 

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Lentils

 

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Apple tart - beware - raisins in there!

 

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Is your hotel in Wieze or Brussels?  What is Wieze like - is it a city, small town, or something in between?

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I'm in Brussels now - we move to Wieze later. I've not been there before.

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9 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

If you run into Rudy Van Veen, say 'hi' from me!

 

Who is Rudy Van Veen?

 

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1 minute ago, Lisa Shock said:

Just a friend form World Pastry Forum. HERE is some info. I believe he had an apartment in Brussels for a while.

Unless I trip over him on the street and is wearing his chef's jacket so I'll recognize him - I suspect it will be unlikely.

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After a pleasant 12 hour sleep I woke feeling refreshed and not the slightest bit jet lagged this am. I love this jet lag program!

 

It was however pissing down rain - so I futzed about for a couple of hours before I ventured out. It had stopped raining just as I did so - and by this afternoon I had a lovely sunny day for my walkabout.

 

I had two missions today - I needed to walk the route of the chocolate shops that I need to take the gang to on Monday and I needed to find a 12 V connector required to fix an EZtemper that was shipped here to Brussels. I thought it was going to be a simple matter of soldering on a loose wire but discovered the whole connector was broken and hadn't thought to bring a spare. So I headed out to a shop that was just a few blocks away - where I was told there was no way I was going to find that in any shop in Brussels. 

 

I headed out instead to find my chocolate shops - 

 

IMG_6269.thumb.jpg.13c326e1b6694aaccf826a948e87da9f.jpg

 

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Even the best have to contend with bloom! And apparently aren't embarrassed to sell it.

 

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Planète Chocolat

 

At this point I apparently thought that I had to walk further to find Rue Midi and missed the turn. And become hopelessly lost. I kept thinking I was going in the direction that would take me back from whence I came and I was too stubborn to turn on Google Maps - when I ran across a shop called Elak Electronics - and by god they had exactly what I needed and also gave me instructions on how to get back to Rue Lombard. 

 

 

 

 

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Serendipity!

Congratulations on finding what you needed! Thanks for posting the pictures of your trip/adventure.

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My little misadventure, that took me off the path, brought me past this little gem on my way back to Lombard Street.

 

IMG_6288.thumb.jpg.45ab14eee72ea3c77b1437792bb032b4.jpg

 

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These two gentlemen and I were the only occupants at 2:30 or so when I arrived.

 

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Nice butter, parsley and white wine sauce to soak up the the bread (and the fries).

 

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1 minute ago, Toliver said:

Serendipity!

Congratulations on finding what you needed! Thanks for posting the pictures of your trip/adventure.

Indeed - pleased to know the horseshoe is still properly seated!

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Back on track - and hunger sated - I found the shops I needed to - and a few others I didn't need to.

 

IMG_6290.thumb.jpg.e5fd1ec2cd30df19dfcc4f8052f44955.jpg

 

Not a lot of chocolate here

 

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Or here - but I did get some lokum. 

 

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There was a lovely little market in the square - one of the vendors had old metal chocolate molds - amazingly I resisted! 

 

IMG_6293.thumb.jpg.b179379b91cbe2b1ee522f0856ce44d1.jpg

 

This place was very difficult to find - I totally missed the sandwich board because I was coming at it from the wrong angle - I walked around two blocks and was ready to research it's closing when I realized it was right behind where I was standing! It is Pierre Ledent - makes a very nice macaron - less sugar, more almond - makes them quite fragile. 

 

IMG_6292.thumb.jpg.b931c452edc451f06488b033451922d0.jpg

 

More bloom on the second row back. How sad is it that I didn't take pics of nice chocolates - only the crummy ones.

 

IMG_6296.thumb.jpg.7a84f7f0c6443d3081ff7c475b098a45.jpg

 

Pierre Marcolini - making these lovely pieces that they package to look like lipstick!

 

 

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I recall tasting these last trip - don't recall if I cared for them. Will have to test again.

 

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Was quite taken by this box!

 

IMG_6298.thumb.jpg.e00ec3e56704d97099b6eb48da91c441.jpg

 

Of course if you are a famous chocolatier - your bust will never be bronze!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

One of the stops on the tour is not a chocolate shop - it's Aux Merveilleux de Fred. Merveilleux appear to be a couple of meringues with a glob of cream between then rolled in various shavings.

 

 

59d66db488c6f_IMG_6291(1).thumb.jpg.ea1ec060b99bc0b7ecf4b08e2fd88159.jpg

 

 

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A coffee one and a chocolate one.

 

 

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Fred's also sells raisin cramiques.  

 

IMG_6303.thumb.jpg.426621068c4f23ff07bed340685a9d5a.jpg

 

Leonidas takes claim to the Manon - coffee buttercream with a hazelnut. 

 

IMG_6307.thumb.jpg.69b9c162609b7fc8238c3b7f567d3c00.jpg

 

Corné does them one better with a coffee flavoured fondant coating - they claimed to be the only one making them - when I mentioned that I had seen them in several other shops they seemed genuinely surprised. There's however had an excellent buttercream.

 

59d670249d24d_IMG_6308(1).thumb.jpg.92ea7651b1ddab1ca027c852a3583c4f.jpg

 

Mary's said the Mary and the salted Breton caramel were their two best.

 

IMG_6306.thumb.jpg.485c3e1aa8a948a8b4703afab931d55c.jpg

 

Neuhaus developed these for a world's fair I believe he said - so one of their newer items and a good seller. It's a roll of nougatine with a filling. One of these is coffee apparently. 

 

59d67019dba1a_IMG_6304(1).thumb.jpg.334b87d60cabe0549ff4d10e5ad262e2.jpg

 

Did get some of the macaron and they are indeed good and indeed fragile. 

 

59d66d967075f_IMG_6310(1).thumb.jpg.cd1173bbda8fce69fc93fc466ad2612f.jpg

 

My little bag of lokum.

 

 


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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BB60C318-9C54-4E21-AB4D-518C809BB3EE.jpeg.b5b765f69448cd278bbf3e2565fd32ca.jpeg

 

 I would have been hard-pressed to resist this (stamppot). But then I would’ve fallen for the mussels anyway!

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