Sep 14, 2013

Belgian Chocolates ― Overhyped & Overrated

The last few days before our vacay last month, my students kept telling me to go crazy trying all the Belgian chocolates I'd encounter. But I'd read in all the guidebooks that local Belgianites don't bother buying chocolates from expensive chocolate shops. Instead, they say the supermarket chocolates are just as good and of course cheaper. After having tried chocolate from the touristy shops as well as the lowly supermarkets, I'd say I agree.


Moeder Babelutte is a popular chocolate shop chain in Belgium. Most of their locations are along the coast, and the shop that we visited was in Oostende. They're known for a few signature items, one of them being their chocolate praline shells. Now anyone who really knows me knows how crazy I used to be (or still am?) over Guylian. So I was excited beyong words to try what I believed would be a higher-quality and even better-tasting version of the well-known brand.

Chyeah. If I were blindfolded and made to try a Babelutte shell as well as a Guylian shell, I wouldn't be able to say that one tasted distinctly different from the other. Disappointing. Overall, I had this same reaction to all the chocolates I tried from other chocolate shops. Nothing special! Though they offered some interesting flavours (e.g. Cannabis, Black Tea, Peanut), none of them blew me away. I think it's about time we start shining some light on the chocolate produced in countries that aren't internationally known for their chocolate... helllllloooooooooooo SOMA.

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