It’s not too easy to find. But Goossens Chocolatier in Antwerp might the best chocolate shop in the land. It’s definitely the only one that supplies chocolates to the White House.
Some years ago, the US ambassador to Belgium Sam Fox set out to find the best chocolate shop in Belgium. A tough job, but someone had to do it. He finally tracked down the perfect place - a tiny family-run shop in Antwerp’s Jewish District.
Eric Goossens received a contract in 2007 to create an enormous batch of Christmas chocolates stamped with the Presidential seal. The order was for 1,500 chocolate Presidential seals, each weighing one kilo. In a normal year, Goosens produces a total of 2,000 kilos of chocolates at Christmas.
The chocolates ended up being served by the Bush family to their guests in the White House. Goosens then received an order from the American ambassador in Paris. He also sent chocolates to the White House during the Obama administration.
Eric Goossens still makes his chocolates by hand in a small workshop at the back of the shop. And you can pick up a little box for a few euros. His range includes a star-shaped chocolate made to celebrate the European Union, and a chocolate letter A based on a 1575 wooden print stamp made for the Plantin Press.
Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.