Eat Smart

Tastes Abroad: Chocolate, with a side of waffles

by Rebecca Toback, blogger

Spring break in Brussels is everything you’d never expect spring break to be—chocolate stores, so much food and not a beach in sight.


Soon after we hopped off the train in the Belgian capital and settled into our hotel room, we walked into town to sample some of the food that Belgium’s most known for: Waffles and chocolate. (I think the Brussels sprout needs to hire a publicist!) With the smell of chocolate in the air, that was no problem. There are both waffle and chocolate places every five steps you take. Chocolate shops are to Brussels what Starbucks are to NYC.
In America, waffles are usually served drenched in maple syrup or butter (or both). But here, syrup isn’t even an option or needed at all; the waffles are amazing on their own.  I had heard the waffles were good, but my expectations were surpassed. After we took a tour of the city (the original Hershey, PA), it was chocolate time! We made a beeline to the city’s Chocolate Museum. The museum wasn’t anything special, and actually barely related to chocolate, but the free samples and demonstration of  how chocolate is made were sweet. The chocolatier was very excited to be photographed (sort of like a Disney character) and telling us about how she makes her chocolate at a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. She explained that if she could trace a design of chocolate on the top layer and have it last, she knows she’s doing a good job.

So far, my Belgian food experience has been exceeding my expectations. Who knew that chocolate and waffles could actually taste so much sweeter in a foreign country?