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Travel Secret #1054: How to Buy the Best Handmade Chocolate

A Travel Secrets Exclusive! Chocolate secrets from Jelle Descamps, Business Manager at the world-famous Dumon Chocolatier:

1. What makes the Belgium the World Chocolate Capital?

Bruges is the real epicentre of the true Belgian chocolate artisan. We have a very widely renowned chocolate-pastry and bakery school, which forms the fine chocolatiers. Many of them start a small chocolate shop nearby, thus keeping each other sharp and alert. there’s healthy competition between colleagues. We stimulate each other in finding ever new balances in flavours, textures, combinations.

2. What is the best street and shops that you would personally visit to buy?

Belgian chocolate? Simon Stevin square in the city centre of Bruges! Number 11…. 🙂

3. What makes handmade chocolates superior to factory made?

Freshness! The short chain brings them the freshest possible to the customer. Also, feedback from customers is often directly translated into new tests.

dumon-chocolatier

4. Your tip for picking good chocolate?

Stay away from the big industrial brands with dull shaped-pralines, they have a lot of white chocolate in their assortment, pre packed, long shelf lives. They all should ring an alarm bell.

5. What is your favourite variety of chocolate?

A Dark Fino De Aroma Chocolate with beans from the Columbian Tumaco-region. But this tends to change every now and then.

chocolate-shopping-bruges-2

 

6. Tell us some Belgium chocolate secrets

Export-quality chocolate is never as good as the taste sensation you get when in Belgium. Due to several reasons (logistics, climate, local taste preferences), some exporting chocolatiers change their recipes for export markets.

7. What food/Drink is best paired with Belgian Chocolates?

Dark praline with a dark ganache: Dark, old, heavy Port (Noval Black). A taste sensation beyond your experience.

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