I bet all of my readers love chocolate 🙂 And who doesn’t? So this is a special treat for my readers !!
When I planned for Brussels, the chocolate museum was in my bucket list and after coming back, I am happy that it was. Belgium is famous for chocolate, so it is a must when you visit Brussels ! And believe me it is so rewarding 😛 I will come to that later 😀
Cocoa bean has been an amazing discovery by Olmecs and Mayans. They used roasted ground cocoa mixed with water and spices as a bitter drink. The cocoa butter was used as medicine and the cocoa bean itself as currency in some part of the world. Jean Neuhaus in Brussels invented the first filled chocolate sweet which he called a “praline”.
Several years later his wife invented the “ballotin”, a box in which chocolates could be delicately wrapped. Brussels is the home town for around 40 chocolatiers now.
You can see the cocoa pod here, which contains around 40 cocoa beans. The beans are heaped up and fermentated for two-six days. Then two weeks extensive drying is carried out and after a rigorous selection of the best quality beans, they are submitted to a final verification. Then the cocoa bean are roasted, winnowed and made to a paste. This paste is mixed with coca butter, naturally present in the beans, to make consumable chocolates. The cocoa butter helps the chocolate to be crisp and melt in the mouth which is the character of a good chocolate.
The cocoa and chocolate museum in Brussels is situated in a small lane named Rue de la tête d’Or near Grand Place. In fact from the town hall, it is one minute walking. The ticket per person is 6€, but entry is free with Brussels card. The ground floor has shop and demonstration, and the 1st & 2nd floor contain the museum. The museum is open from 10 to 5.00pm , closed on Monday.
Praline is first made by Jean Neuhaus.” The liquid chocolate is poured into the mould. It is left to cool and harden so that it can be filled and then another layer of liquid chocolate is added in order to seal the praline. It is left to harden again, after which the praline is unmoulded and turned over. The trimmings are dipped into liquid chocolate or they are passed under a “curtain” of chocolate.”
Once you finish seeing the museum, you can come downstairs and taste cookies dipping in this hot chocolate.. REWARD is not it ? 😛 You can also taste all the samples of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate, hot liquid chocolate kept for demonstration and some moulded chocolate filled with some liquid flavour at the end of demonstration.
Our master chocolate maker and demonstrator , isn’t he cool ?
Above you can see some nice work with mould. Below are the special utensils and machine for chocolate making.
This time while flying to Paris, I saw the movie “Chocolat” . It is one wonderful love story of human with chocolate, about making bonds and getting over the repressions. Little did I know, I would feel that live in the city of Brussels . If you are a chocolate lover, you will feel it all while visiting this little museum in the heart of Belgium. You can also buy pure Belgian chocolates in their special coin form in this museum and I think it is most economical here than in all over Brussels. SO, do visit and let me know 😀 Till then I am going to eat some, which I brought home 😛
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