La Poulette

Tastes like chicken.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Like a (chocolate) virgin no more

If you ever plan on looking me in the eye and telling me you take chocolate seriously, you had better have a Belgian passport to prove it. It takes one to know one and back in the day a naive, clueless version of my current self would have probably been much like you, dear non Belgian passport carrying chocolate lovin' reader. How I would take pride in the fact that I never covered my ice-cream in store bought chocolate sauce, but would always go to the pains of melting some dark chocolate in a dollop of milk and a blob of butter. That long-gone version of me would indulge in a Snicker bar a day, snootyly shunning inferior Croatian brands of my sweet brown addiction. I even considered strangling my mother when she innocently substitute milk chocolate for dark chocolate in her cake recipe on one memorable occasion - and remained completely and utterly incapable of understanding the grave error of her ways when confronted with this blasphemous behaviour to boot!

Granted, I was on the right track. But my little efforts in the way of chocolate snobbery were pathetically reminiscent of a small barking Chihuahua who is falsely convinced that it's shrill yapping is no different to the grown-up growl of a Rottweiler gearing for an attack.

Alas, thanks to Mr. Schumann and the rest of our wise founding fathers who came up with the great European project, I have been fortunate enough to discover the chocolate lovin' nation that are the Belgians. These people might look deceivingly Christian, but don't be fooled. In truth they pray to the god "Chocolate" and I am right up there with them, lighting my fudge candles in the first pew. Sayonara Snickers! Goodbye Gorenjka! I am moving on up in the world, people, and nothing less than Pierre Marcolini will do henceforth. If you think I'm referring to some local chocolatier, I can only scorn and pity your plebian ignorance and suggest you give this post a miss, and go back to munching on your Choco pops. Because we're not talking about some ordinary run of the mill chocolatier here. We're talking artiste. In Mr. Marcolini's world chocolate is not viewed as something as banal, as passé as mere food (puh-lease!). Allow me to illustrate: the man produces seasonal collections, in the fashion sense of the word, tongue firmly NOT in cheek. His flagship store is located in the chic Sablon area of Brussels and comes in the form of a three storey building where you can see chocolate creations displayed as though they were Cartier jewelry (and yes, some of them contain gold, which everyone knows is totally edible). Just in case you're still not convinced, the prices will surely drive this comparison home.
As always, my mission here is to serve and enlighten. As a Poulette public service I therefore hereby present you with a few rules that should be observed should you ever swing by Brussels and pay cher Pierre a visit:
- please don't bother entering the chic Marcolini establishment if you're not outfitted in your latest Prada rags. For the hopelessly unhip and boringly bourgeois among you, a classic Burberry scarf will do;
- please keep your voice down to a classy, reverential whisper at all times;
- please refrain from revealing your lack of cool factor by only purchasing a single cake;
- please understand that the cakes only come equipped with a sign informing you of the awards they've been bestowed with - NOT an explanation of what they actually consist of;
- modeling agents: please do not bother trying to recruit the supermodel like staff. Pierre has them hooked on free chocolate samples;
- please do not question why or how ingredients such as early gray tea, violets and basil are incorporated into chocolate. They are. It works. Stop talking and have yourself a mouthful instead;
And finally: don't mention the word Godiva. Ever. Because any whisper of chocolate cred you might have had, will fly straight out the window just like THAT.


  • At 11/30/2005 06:10:00 PM, Anonymous rainbow warrior said…

    Oh dear, the Purebred within has finally taken over...

  • At 11/30/2005 06:39:00 PM, Anonymous Jernej said…

    Ahh... now we're talkin' my language! Looks like a road trip to Brussels in in order. ;)

    Tell me, does he have anything remotely similar to Recchiuti Confections Milk bar (55%) or their hazelnut praline bar or Etienne Guittards Soleil d'Or or Michel Cluizels 1er Cru de Plantation Mangaro (50%) or Michel Cluizels Grand Lait (45%) or perhaps ValRhona Jivara Lait? Hell, I'll even go for something like Hachez Cocoa de Maracaibo (55.5%).

    I'm sort of traditional when it comes to chocolate. I like the silky smooth sweetness with only a slightest hint of anything other than milk or chocolate. Various nuts are optional.

    I know, I should try to change but all the mixing with lavander (currently finishing a NewTree Tranquility which is not bad but I won't be buying it again any time soon), roses, chili or whatever still doesn't bring it anywhere near plain rich milk chocolate.

    And yes, I plan to walk in there like I just dropped in after a day of heli skiing. Helmet, full body armor and all. Who gives a damn about Prada... ;)

  • At 11/30/2005 06:50:00 PM, Anonymous rainbow warrior said…

    BTW, just back from the deli, our best neighbor, and guess who I ran into – your dear izmet fekali, the one and only, in his regular Joe look (semi-Canadian lumberjack, not really the smart looking one as on his site). Maybe next time, it will be the "balinplac".

    Yep, what can I say, Brdo (or Vrba, as our Poulette likes to refer to it) is where everything is happening. Just so you know.

  • At 12/01/2005 12:02:00 AM, Blogger Doug Bagley said…

    MMMM, nothing like chocolate from Brussels. I've had some, nothing compares to it.

  • At 12/01/2005 08:48:00 AM, Blogger onemorehandbag said…

    Dark chocolate (nothing less than 70% of cocoa will do)practially runs in my veins! I've been meaning to post a "chocolate-manifesto" myself but every time I just THINK about my favourite brands I seem to get carried away.

    When I was in Brussels I was very impressed by the way people just stop at their favourite chocolatier for a late-night sugar fix much like us less-developed species elsewhere in Europe would get something banal like a hot dog or a pizza slice. Needless to say, I immediately followed suit. When in Rome...

  • At 12/01/2005 02:50:00 PM, Blogger Poulette said…

    Jernej: I back down. You are henceforth awarded honorary Belgian status on this site.

    RW: Canadian lumberjack - mmmmmmm, complete with chainsaw and bulging biceps? Me likes.

    Onemorehandbag: when in Rome, definitely. And if the shoe fits, wear it, I say!

  • At 12/02/2005 03:46:00 PM, Blogger peter said…

    Poulette, this is written so well, that a strange thing happens.
    Instead of craving for Belgian chocholate, one's senses are satisfied.

    Synaesthesia, I belive it is called

  • At 12/02/2005 05:31:00 PM, Anonymous crni said…

    Hmm, I have a completely different reaction to all that "hohstapleraj" I read here. It's really fun to read, but my reaction is more similar to the host of the Belgian TV show "Boomerang".

  • At 12/30/2008 10:01:00 PM, Blogger Davorka Pozgan said…

    OMG!!! I think I am the right person to enter this 3 storey building of mr. Marcolini. I've got DP couture I've got the nose and tounge and passion for green tea/rose petals/choco mix!


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