True Definition

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You’ve never had chocolate until you’ve had Belgian chocolate.When my original plans to stay in Paris fell through, my parents were kind enough to let me crash their mini vacation. After the 1 hour train ride from Paris to Brussels (seriously, why can’t he U.S. get high speed rail already?!) I made my way to their hotel–located right next to the European Parliament I might add. They were just waking up from their naps, having arrived a few hours earlier on their flight, so I took the opportunity to jump in the shower to feel a bit better about life.Once we were all properly bundled up, we began our adventure to explore Brussels. However, we didn’t get very far. What was the road block, you ask? A chocolate shop… Neuhaus to be exact. I tried a bit of marzipan, a chocolate dipped orange rind (fav) and bought a square of chocolate with speculoos for us all to sample. After my parents made their purchases we continued on our way.Over the next two days we wandered by the Royal Palace, walked past the Brussels Park, up to the Church fo Saint Jacques-sure-Coudenberg, perused the Christmas Market, witnessed the Manneken Pis not pissing, and into many chocolate shops along the way. In the Grote Markt alone there were 10 chocolate shops… Godiva, Leonidas, Guylian, Cote-d’Or, Bruyerre, Jacques, Dolfin, Galler, Marcolini and more. I tried bits of chocolate in each shop, bought a tin from Bruyerre, somehow resisted a cone of Godiva chocolate dipped strawberries for 5 euros (kicking myself for that) and enjoyed the random assortments of heavenly –non waxy– chocolate. I’m a bit sad I didn’t try Marcolini… my taxi driver to the airport said it’s the best. Ce’est la vie. However, I did stop (twice) for a Belgian waffle. Ends up, the U.S. is totally doing it wrong… it was amazing! Slightly crispy, warm and not overly sweet. I tried it once with just chocolate then the next time with nutella and strawberries; I prefer the latter but definitely would not turn down a freshly made real Belgian waffle any scrumptious topping. I recommend if you’re in the area you don’t either.

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