The Breath Of Chocolate

I know I’ve given you the impression that Belgium is all beer, all the time, and I need to rectify that. As a person who eats nothing sweet, walking through the center of Bruges practically made me faint. The air itself is sweet, everywhere you go it smells of chocolate, and waffles. The sugary fragrances get in your hair, under your skin, and follow you home.

I’d never have known where to draw the line, but fortunately French Letters reader Nico, a native of Bruges, sent me to Depla chocolates, whence the enticing walnuts shown above, as well as dozens of exotic flavors. For 9 Euros I could get a box of 15 pieces, and I could choose each one individually, lemongrass, tiramisu, advocaat, milk chocolate caramel, nougat, pear liqueur, marzipan, and I really can’t remember what. I could and I did choose, and choose again. The shop lady apparently appreciated my discriminating and lingering selection of each and every piece, and offered me a chocolate to eat as I walked. When I told her that I can’t eat candy she whistled sympathetically, and tied a red ribbon around the gift boxes I’d purchased. If you get to Bruges, take Nico’s advice and go to Depla, it’s a wonderland for chocolate lovers.

All of the chocolate shop windows were pretty and tempting,

and it would have been easy to fill an entire suitcase with their wares.

Between the eye candy and the ambient sucrosity, I could feel my blood sugar rising just window shopping.

And it’s not like chocolate’s the only game in town, as other shops specialized in marzipan,

nougat,

and even cupcakes. The hardest thing to find was vegetables. We walked all over town, never seeing anything like a fruit and vegetable shop. At the vast Saturday market we actually had to ask where the vegetables were.

We needed a break from the unbearable sweetness of Bruges! But we loved it anyway, sugared out though we were by our ramblings, and we slept sweetly every night, while visions of broccoli danced in our heads.

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One Comment on “The Breath Of Chocolate”

  1. Emily Says:

    Oh! Those walnut bonbons are beautiful. I never will forget my first Easter in Europe and the windows of the candy shops in Brugge. They were like story books, with forest scenes and animals and birds all in chocolate; Easter rabbits from miniature to 3 feet tall. It is astounding what they can do with chocolate.


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