Chocolate. Choc-o-late. If you say it slowly enough, even the word sounds velvety, never mind the taste. And there’s nowhere better to go to get stuck into the real deal than Belgium.
As a long time advocate of chocolate’s healing power, I wasn’t going to pass up on the chance to visit a museum dedicated to the story of it, despite the fact that it’s probably considered by many to be a cheesy tourist destination (and speaking of cheese – if you know of any museums dedicated to that, do let me know. Seriously).
Choco-Story in Bruges is worth a visit if you love the stuff like I do. You’ll get to taste a bit and learn a bit. And then you can go off and buy a ton of it. Believe me, while it may not be cheap, Belgian chocolate is worth every penny and every pound (you can just go back to the gym when you get home).
The museum guides you through the history of cocoa, from the Mayans right through to the birth of the chocolate bar, with plenty of interesting exhibits along the way. And some life lessons too. Like the fact that chocolate does not make you fat. Bonus.
Belgian shop windows are exhibits in their own right, but the museum is a good place to start if you want to go back to the very beginning of the chocolate story.
In the museum’s own words:
“Belgian citizens are lovers of fine foods. Hence, chocolates have to be of an outstanding quality.”
For the purposes of chocolate consumption, I say we should all become honorary Belgians. Who’s with me?
Have you been to a chocolate museum anywhere in the world? And have you come across chocolate anywhere that would give the Belgian stuff a run for its money? Let me know in the comments!
(I was just a turn up on the day tourist at Choco-Story – my ticket was €7. I really enjoyed it and kept a clear, objective mindset throughout. I am not a chocoholic. Honest.)