I just returned from a few days of vacation in Brussels and I have many things to tell you! So for that, I decided to write about this trip to the sweetest Brussels. It was a while since I went on vacation. If I remember correctly after my trip to Paris a couple of years ago I have only traveled for work. The truth is that in that type of travel you have no time or desire of going out to travel too much. So I had not been able to bring tickets of this kind for some time. I have spent 4 days travelling the cities of Brussels, Ghent and Bruges, and if there is a word that clearly defines for me these Cities is "SWEET"!
A World of Chocolate!
When I went to Paris, they told me there were many bakeries and that I would easily find places to try the wonderful French pastries and its well-known Macarons. So when they told me the same about the cities I was going to visit on this trip, I imagined something similar. But I can tell you that you will find much more! Virtually the entire city center, both in Brussels and Bruges and Ghent, is invaded by shops of chocolates, waffles and cakes!
I admit that at the beginning I tried to resist and not sin too much, but the truth is that having it in each door is practically impossible! Every time you go to see any store they offer you a chocolate to try. And then when you walk through its streets, all the windows are full of sweets and chocolates. Also the smell of waffles invades every corner and in the end. It is unavoidable! But to be able to tell you all this in a more detailed way, let's talk a little about what is typical in these cities.
Enjoy the waffles!
One of the most typical sweets is the Waffle! At this point I am sure that practically everyone knows them and that most of you will have tried them, but do you know all their varieties ?! I have to tell you that there are 3 types of waffles:
The one we are used to eating is the Belgian waffle, but they recommended that we try the Brussels Waffle and I have to say it is wonderful! It differs in that it is a much lighter and fluffier mass, with a slightly more puff-shaped appearance and rectangular shape (about 16 squares). The classic way to consume them is with some sprinkled icing sugar or praline , which is a type of hot chocolate that they usually have in all waffles. It feels very bad for us to ask for it with Nutella because for them their praline is much better than Nutella!
The waffine is a very finite rich sandwich filled with cream that is made with the same waffle dough. It comes to be almost the same as a stuffed waffle, and they also have it in salty format, stuffed with cheese and ham! Also delicious! Of course, we will find everywhere waffles the style that we are used to, and with a lot of toppings to accompany. The decision of which one to ask will be yours!
I recommend you try the Waffle Factory since they prepare the waffle at the moment! In most of the sites they will have them ready and they will only give you the toppings you ask for.
Cuberdons. Small and surprising!
Another of the typical sweets is a small gominola flavored with raspberry originally and called Cuberdons! I have to tell you that they surprised me a lot! They have a crispy exterior but a liquid and very sweet filling that is amazing! You can find them in various flavors although the original is Raspberry. These little ones were invented by a 19th century pharmacist and it was during the reign of Leopold I that they became famous. It is also traditional street vendors on carts like the one in the photo that you can see and that you can find in Ghent.
And what would be of this post if I did not talk about Las Galletas de Speculoos! Maybe for some they are still unknown, although in the world of creative confectionery bloggers the Speculoos have become a basic ingredient. The Speculoos or specula are a mixture of spices based mainly on cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove, widely used in Northern European countries to make sweets at Christmas. If you go there, you can not stop trying them. You can find these cookies under a well-known brand, LOTUS, but I think it's best to go to the Maison Dandoy store, in the center of Brussels, behind Le Grand Place, and that has been crafting these cookies since 1829! You can not miss this traditional biscuit, of the few that are left, and where you will find both cookies and precious molds to make them, or a delicious cream to take home.
Chocolate, chocolates and pralines!
And the last but not the least! The chocolate! The king par excellence in these cities! You will have it in every corner, and in every store you enter! And it's spectacular! Let's go with a couple of interesting details about Belgian chocolate. I will tell you that the word bonbon for them does not mean the same as for us, but refers to candies. Those little pieces of chocolate that we call chocolate, they really call them Pralinés! Remember at the time of requesting it, because if you call them a chocolate, they will not understand you! Within the chocolatiers that make these chocolates we will find 5 main ones, which we can classify by their quality/price ratio.
Starting with the cheapest, we find Leonidas. Next we would have two big names, Godiva and Neuhaus, which compete in price and quality and always put their stores in front of each other, that is, in front of Godiva we will always find a Neuhaus. To finish we find the two most expensive chocolate shops and of course of better quality, which serve The Royal Belgian House. Where we can find the kilo of chocolate at an average price of € 160, are Mary and Pierre Marcolini!
They are authentic chocolate jewelries where you will find the greatest delights! In Pierre Marcolini you can also find two very interesting sweets. On the one hand is the Eclairs, with a wonderful flavor and on the other hand some mini flavored ice creams that will cover you at the moment with the chocolate flavor that you like the most, both at a quite affordable price.
In addition to these chocolate shops, you will find another wonderful one in Bruges and it only has a couple of shops. With some delicious chocolates, you can also find truffles and what I liked the most, marshmallow sponges dipped in chocolate. For something is another of the exclusive chocolatiers that serves the Royal House of Belgium.
And we come to the end of this little tour of the sweetest Brussels. Of course you can find many more curious and equally delicious things like roquets of meringue with chocolate or macarons, but this was the most important thing for me.