Friday, December 14, 2007

I think, even in my vegan state, that I know chocolate; I have had some pretty amazing chocolate in my life, and have even lived across the road from the Gladstone Cadbury Chocolate factory. This expertise leaves me with a certain amount of qualification to make some strong statements about the darling morsels that have made their melting ways into my sweaty palms. Before I share the new chocolateir, whose treats past between my lips last night, I have to acknowledge the fact that their can never be a chocolate treat as tasty as my mom's christmas truffles.

**Note - Mom, if you don't manage to veganize your truffles during my trip home I might have to reconsider my Chemay offer.

I wasn't feeling so hot last night. The damp days of Brussels aren't always best suited for us with tin-man joints. Despite the cool weather my knight in shinning armor (disguised as a super geek) made an evening journey to the posh market to fetch himself some bread and other pizza toppings. Upon his return, he withdrew, from under his Arthurian nerd-bag, a funkfully designed little red box. Held within the box was a good sized portion of Gingembre de Guilin. The dark chocolate covered ginger sticks, which came in a bit too much packaging, were delicious. What was even better was the localness of the product - all made and packaged in Brussels, from the well traveled LAURENT GERBAUD, whose company: Chocolats Gerbaud sells the best Belgian chocolate I have tasted so far.

The chocolatier has tramped across the world and swapped Belgian beer insider tips for gourmand secrets that he has incorporated into this chocolate. In addition to some run of the mill product titles, such as: Figs in Dark Chocolate, and Truffes Noires, the goodness also takes us into other countries with his, Amandes de Sicile, Oranges de Shanghai, Abricots de Barrydale, and Noisettes du PiƩmont. The whole product line seems to be marketed very consciously around this attempt at globalizing ones day through the chocolate indulgence. A well planned out business plan for Brussels in particular - a city within a country with the largest European GDP, with citizens who make a regular habit to work until 10 pm most nights, leaving the busy business drones with little time for trips to Guilin, Sicile or Shanghai. Conversely, as I noted on my trip to Ikea (yes, I realize the irony thanks), that it is also a city with some extensively dense pockets of poverty...sorry...where did my taxes go?

The main shop can be found at A.M Sweet, Rue Des Charteux 4, 1000 Brussels. But, don't be discouraged, you can pick up these delectables from a variety of retailers across the continent, in the UK and on your weekend trips to Japan. Check out this page for a list of the retailers.

Anyway, the chocolate I had last night was fantastic. And, everyone back home can bank on some Chocolats Gerbaud.

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