Another yummy post. Belgium is known for its chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, their chocolate is good.  Very, very good.  It is also a competitor of Swiss Chocolate, so I must be diplomatic. Fortunately for me, I haven’t seen pralines here like you do in Belgium. Aaaahhh, a loophole.
What are pralines? A chocolate shell that could be filled with butter, cream, liquor, nuts, marzipan (sugared almond paste), or even a different kind of chocolate. They come in rectangular boxes like you see below.  If you see one of these boxes, you know instantly that something good is headed your way.
The best part is that you, in America can taste some of this yumminess. I know that I supported Belgian businesses in the US whenever possible (beer, ahem, and pralines). Leonidas and Neuhaus are both in the US. Neuhaus is even in Asheville!

P.S. I may or may not have snuck some with breakfast. If I did, please don’t judge me.  


Christmas Came Early

Manneken Pis, a famous Brussels landmark

I don’t know if I have ever been so well looked after. I returned from Belgium last night. I spent time with my host family from Belgium. It was wonderful. I got to meet my host sibling’s children (who unfortunately for me and fortunately for them speak better French than I do).  I had the best time and I miss them already.

They sent me back with tons of wonderful presents. As they are Belgians, most of it was food (and warm clothes). I came back with:

  • Tins of fish from Brittany
  • Giant packs of the best kind of Belgian Waffles (Gauffres de Liege) covered in chocolate
  • Pralines from Leonidas
  • Pralines from Corne
  • A pot of Nutella (This was, unfortunately a casualty of airport security. They said it was a liquid. I think they wanted it for themselves.)
  • Belgian chocolate (Yes, this is different from Nutella, pralines and chocolate covered waffles.)
  • CD’s
  • Jewelry
  • Warm, clothes that will make me look très Eurpoeanne (or at least less obviously American)
  • Super cool paper placemats that teach you French (a painless way for him to learn some French)

I think they were afraid that I would go hungry in Switzerland. I ate so well in Belgium (posts to follow) that I feel a bit guilty that he wasn’t there to taste all the goodies. He was able to have yummy waffles for breakfast and will, undoubtedly, have pralines tonight. Thanks for everything.