Sometimes you just have to write…
Brussels is full of chocolate.
Everywhere we walk there’s a shop selling nothing but chocolate — in every single block — and often more than one. Sometimes it’s the big-name companies like Leonidas and Godiva, but more often it’s local chocolatiers.
The chocolates are ornate, colourful, often quite detailed, and sometimes you could honestly call them artworks.
And they’re displayed as if they’re fine jewelry. Here (on the left) you can see a photo of a shop window we passed last night. On the right, you’ll also see a photo taken the same evening outside of Tiffany’s. The jewelry is priced in the thousands. The chocolate? It wasn’t marked.
One store we passed was almost empty except for a long counter down one side and what looked like a huge lump of chocolate down the middle, being used as a display stand for a pitifully small selection of chocolates. Then down the opposite wall were a couple of long shelves with an equally pitifully small selection of chocolate bars (priced at between six and nine euros for a 100 gram bar). In the window there was an extremely big, gracelessly curly chocolate sculpture, and the whole shop was dramatically lit in green, for some reason. As you’d expect, a store with so little stock in so much space in a prime retail location has absolutely exorbitant prices.
So here’s my question: how do people who live in Brussels surrounded by chocolatiers — never mind the amazing quality of the bread and croissants here — avoid growing as big as a house? And if you know their secret, could you please share it with me?