As my Brussels post was becoming a bit epic, I decided to post the take home goodies separately. A number of well known Belgian food shops are located in and around the Place du Sablon and I decided to hit up the ones that were particular to Brussels. Neuhaus, Godiva and Cote D’Or chocolates can all be purchased in London so those were all missed (I’m not a fan of Godiva myself). That left Wittamer, Pierre Marcolini and Dandoy.
I started at Wittamer and chose 250g of chocolates at about €12.
I was quite taken with the fresh cream chocolates – huge, slightly chewy and uh…creamy. That big, tan coloured praline on top was a fresh cream coffee chocolate. However, I was greatly disappointed by a pineapple praline whose description was better than its execution.
After, Pierre Marcolini (why did you close your Kensington shop?!), where I purchased a boxful of his chocolates (34 in a box – one of each available , though the eagle eyed among you will notice two of one kind – hmm)…
… and a length of vanilla marshmallow.
It’s hard not to compare the products of the two chocolatiers. At €17 for the Pierre Marcolini box (about €70 per kilo), this was more expensive than the Wittamer chocolates. If the little jewel-like chocolates are that pretty girl you have your eye on, the Wittamer chocs are her thug of a brother who won’t let you near her. While delicious, the Wittamer chocs lacked the Marcolini refinement and their flavours were more muted. Of the Marcolini chocolates, the pink peppercorn, safron, the Pierre Marcolini Grand Cru and those with crunchy Quimper wafer were particularly memorable while the mango one was the most disappointing. Notice the trend? Perhaps tropical flavours shouldn’t be attempted. I had to buy the marshmallow after seeing this image on the Marcolini website – it’s so light and fluffy and is probably the best marshmallow I’ve ever had. I’m spoiled for life.
I ended with Dandoy, the Brussels-based biscuiterie. Here I bought 300g (about €11) of a selection of their biscuits, my favourites being Patience (a chewy almond macaroon with a hazelnut on top), Earl Grey (a butter biscuit scented with Earl Grey tea) and Chocolate Perlé (a shortbread with bits of chocolate and hazelnut). They have gorgeous biscuits and an equally gorgeous pain à la grecque (also in my previous post).
There are definitely other excellent food shops in Brussels but those were left out due to a lack of time. Good thing there’s a cluster of them in the Place du Sablon!
Rue des Minimes, 1
Place du Grand Sablon
12 Place du Grand Sablon
Rue de Rollebeek, 50
(just off the Place du Grand Sablon)