2_4_DiscoverBenelux_13_Januar_2014_MADS_Scan Magazine 1 17/12/2014 15:20 Page 15
Discover Benelux | Special Theme | Chocolate
Every bite is joy TEXT: HARUN OSMANOVIC | PHOTOS: CORNé DYNASTIE
There is chocolate, and there is Belgian chocolate… and then there is a third kind, a kind of its own, an endangered species of traditionally homemade Belgian chocolate that triggers all sorts of pavlovian reflexes like nothing else does: salivation, various pupillary responses and ultimately mass releases of endorphin. Corné Dynastie is of the latter ilk. Jean Corné, the owner, is the last heir of the prestigious Corné house of praline established in Belgium for four generations. Unlike most chocolate houses which have grown to become factories, Jean has established his workshop in the old family house where he works with his son Antoine and two employees who have been with Corné Dynastie for over 20 years. “We really take pride in our products, and this is why each one of our pralines is almost entirely handmade,” explains Jean Corné. Each day,
upon arrival at the workshop, Jean and Antoine get an order from their store located in the Woluwe shopping centre in Brussels and start crafting the delicacies, manually sealing hundreds each day. “Most of our pralines, like the Manons which are a speciality of ours, cannot be produced mechanically,” says Antoine Corné. “This is probably why we are among the last ones doing them the traditional way.” Every day, it is no more than four people – eight hands that is – who cut and carve, fill and stuff, then coat or seal and place every bite of joy in boxes that are shipped to the three stores of the brand. All the hard work of eight hands for tons of chocolate pralines and a proportional amount of joy. www.cornedynastie.com
History to get your teeth into TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS: ANTOINE BRYNAERT (COURTESY OF CHOCO-STORY)
If there’s one cultural attraction in Brussels sure to please the kids it’s Choco-Story Brussels, the chocolate museum. Not that many adults would object to a visit either – naturally with some tasting. Belgium is celebrated worldwide for its chocolates, and anyone visiting its capital who’s keen to understand why should head to the rue de la Tête d’Or. In a 17th century former brewery near the Grand Place three floors of exhibits and regular live demonstrations explain the history of the product, its manufacture process, and what makes Belgian artisan chocolate special. The owners clearly know their subject: “My mother established the museum in 1998, and she was the daughter of one of the Godiva brand’s founders and also created her own marque,” says Peggy van Lierde, its director since 2007.
Chocolate is a passion the family wants to communicate to the wider world: Choco-Story Brussels is behind the creation of the Route Belge de Chocolat, and will be a prominent exhibitor at the Salon du Chocolat in its home city in February (see page 10). That passion has brought success, so much so that in 2016 it is moving to far larger premises close by. Exhibits like the beautiful antique chocolate pots and displays that illustrate how cocoa is grown and processed appeal to the mind; but the main event grabs the nose and taste buds: “The culmination of the visit is a demonstration of chocolate making,” says Peggy: “And of course at the end you get to taste the famous Belgian praline!” www.mucc.be
Issue 13 | January 2015 | 15
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.