you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Monday, April 18, 2005

making a box of belgian chocolates last almost a month...

is not an easy task... but if you have the will power it can be a lot of fun. In February my husband and I had a too-short-whirl-wind trip to london and brussels. I have always wanted to go to belgium and have long been a fan of mussels, frites and La Chouffe beer with the little gnome on the label. So I was thrilled when a new wonderful friend, invited us to visit her and her family who live just outside of Brussels. We were on business in London so could only get down to Brussels for the weekend but I am so happy to have made it there. (thanks for having us EMZ)

One of the highlights of the weekend was the visit to Neuhause- a world famous chocolate company who began making handmade chocolate more than 150 years ago. The particular store we went to, in the photo above and below, was especially wonderful because it was in the famous Arcade St. Hubert. The Galéries St. Hubert is a grand 19th-century shopping arcade near the Grand Place in central Brussels which has been recently restored. The Neuhaus here is the original shop - famous for Belgium Pralines - which opened its doors back in 1857.

So we made it there, on a rainy sunday- and chose 45 pieces of amaziningly delicious chocolate. Including some of the trademark Pralines. These were packed lovingly, as we chose each one, by the wonderful neuhaus staff. I love to make memories when I travel, special little things that I won't forget, and my chocolate choosing in the old-fashioned stocked and decorated shelves of NeuHaus was one of my memory moments. Every inch of the store was decorated, by the way, as it was coming up to Easter. And the chocolate bunnies were old fashioned and goregous, much better than the new monstrous but boring chocolate rabbits back in the usa!

The really fun part acutually came when we got back to japan. It is often hard to jump back into everyday life after the intellectual and culinary richness of travel... the regular day-to-day stuff can seem so ho-hum, even when you work somewhere as interesting as Fujimamas...so to keep our travel feelings, my honey and I chose to keep our box of special chocolates and have one each, every night. We had forgotten the names and which chocolate was what flavor, so it was an adventure each night. The great thing was, that unlike the gamble of the whitman's sampler box, which yields some yummy treats but also some really not-tasty chocolate... the neuhaus box brought us one delight after another. We didn't make it a whole month, but we got close and it was so much fun...

The best, but dangerous news: I found out today, while writing this, that Neuhaus has a shop here in Tokyo. I am sure it won't be as grand as the one in the arcade St. Hubert, but it will be a great way to relive my chocolate evenings with my husband.

PS. if you are interested to try for yourself, you can also order nauhaus chocolates to be delivered to your home.

1 comment:

mom said...

so...have you gotten to relive those chocolate memories...is this a favorite stop...are you still doing chocolate for fun?