Posted August 20, 2009 by Jamie Moore
Inhale the aroma of chocolate year-round in the streets of Bruges, Belgium. The "chocolate city" has its own official chocolate—a swan-shaped truffle made by carefully chosen Bruges chocolatiers—and a museum dedicated to all things cacao. Check out the museum, then hit the sweet-smelling streets for decadent chocolate treats from an "experimental" chocolate shop or traditional teahouse.
Choco-Story - The Chocolate Museum: Here you'll get a taste of the 2,600-year history of chocolate. Discover why ancient Aztecs called chocolate a "drink from the gods," and what makes modern-day Bruges chocolate exceptionally delicious. Kids can play a "Choclala" game and marvel at the exhibit touting chocolate's medicinal qualities. End your visit in the tasting room, where chocolate chefs demonstrate how to prepare melt-in-your-mouth morsels. And yes, you get to taste them, too. Approximately $8.50 for adults, $5.70 for kids (depending on exchange rate).
The Chocolate Line: There are more than 45 chocolatiers in Bruges, and travel guides concur this is one of the best. Scrumptious window displays tempt you inside the chocolate shop, where the store's master chocolatier, Dominque Persoone, mixes pure single-origin chocolate with his signature exotic ingredients. Savor chocolate ganache with wasabi peas, bitter chocolate with a fizzy cola finish, or white chocolate with basil and sun-dried tomato chutney. Chocolate connoisseurs recommend the cacao bean smoked with rosemary and Herbes de Provence.
De Proeverie Tea-room: Spend a relaxing afternoon in this elegant, traditional teahouse. If you're in need of a break from chocolate, indulge in coffee, tea (black, green, and herbal) or a milkshake accompanied by a delicate cake or pastry. But if you're craving another chocolate fix then order the extraordinary hot chocolate. Chunks of thick melted chocolate are served piping hot with warm milk and whipped cream on the side; you decide how to mix things up. It's accompanied by a homemade cookie and, of course, a chocolate wafer.
To search for flights and compare prices to Brussels, which is home to Bruges’ nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.
(Photo: Jan Darthet/Toerisme Brugge)
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