So, now for the honest (yummy!) truth: I have tallied up my chocolate haul from Europe and broken it all down for you. I confess; I lived up to the last half of my nickname (think “maniac”, instead of “-iaK”) in my quest for chocolate. A huge thanks goes to my mom for following me all over the place as I stepped into every chocolatier and grocery store we encountered along the way. She was my true partner in the quest for new chocolates!
BY THE NUMBERS:
New brands collected: 47 in five countries
Pounds of chocolate brought home: Belgium 7.81, Netherlands 1.50, France 0.44, Germany 4.33, Switzerland 9.9. Total: 23.98 pounds
Chocolate purchased and consumed before returning home: 7 oz.
Chocolate consumed last night and not pictured: 3 oz.
Calories that will be consumed? Too many! But, who’s counting???
LABELS ADDED TO MY CHOCOLATE LABEL AND WRAPPER COLLECTION:
Belgium: Davinia, Delhaize, New Tree, Cachet, KC Chocolatier, Lucrotsaert, Union Edel Chocolade, The Chocolate Line, Jacques, Chocoholic Chocolatier, Stefs Chocolatier, Kathy Belgian Chocolates, Noble Chocolatier, Chocolates Keerman, Chocolaterie De Burg
Netherlands: DeHeer, Price
France: Monopix Bio!, Grand Jury. (I would have liked to have found more, however, the chocolatier I found in Strasbourg was ridiculously expensive!
Luxembourg: Sadly, none; it was Sunday and all of the chocolatiers and grocery stores were closed!
Germany: Schwermer, Sarotti, Peters, Rausch, Café Hansen Confiserie Bernkastel, Fin Carre, Eszet Schnitten, Ja!, Coppeneur, Rudesheimer Confiserie Laden, Hussel, Omira, Trumpe, Choceur
Switzerland: Sprungli, Alter Eco, M Classic (Migros Supermarket), Denner (Supermarket), Bachman, Max Chocolatier, OK, Minor, Choco CH, Chocolates Halba, Camille Bloch, CoOp (Supermarket), Swiss Lion Takova, Le Chocolatier Suisse
Thinking back on my purchases and examining the bounty before me, I realize I was more drawn to milk chocolate, this time around. It was quite the opposite when I brought home a carry-on full of Belgian chocolate, after my Belgium & Holland river cruise, in 2002. But, my preference for savoring bittersweet chocolate is to pair it with a jammy zinfandel, vintage port, or tawny port. And, I have cut back on my alcohol consumption, since returning to competitive swimming. This year, until Nationals ended in early August, I probably consumed no more than a total of 5-10 glasses of wine!
Milk chocolate, on the other hand, is my comfort food, and I enjoy it all by itself.
Next up on Elaine-iaK’s Travels: While I was in Europe, I took a lot of photos of chocolate displays; something I really enjoy doing. Check back soon for a tour through the chocolatiers of Europe!