Discover Benelux, Issue 61, January 2019

Page 56

Discover Benelux  |  Food & Drink  |  A Taste of the Netherlands

Chocolate for beginners If you - just like Charlie - would love to experience a sweet adventure in a chocolate factory, you should book yourself a workshop at Chocobreak. Peter Doekbrijder, the Willy Wonka of his generation, teaches you the art of chocolate in his own sacred atelier. Buying chocolate in the charming store of Chocobreak is quite the experience. Housed in one of the oldest buildings of historic Nijmegen, the heavy, wooden beams and natural stone floors reflect Peter Doekbrijder’s artisanal methods. “We work with the highest quality single-origin chocolate from Callebaut, the foremost Belgian chocolate supplier,” Doekbrijder


explains. “With this, we make delicacies like caramel pralines, truffles with vanilla from Papua New Guinea and chocolates with Chinese ginger.” For companies, they also produce tailor-made sweets, like beer pralines for the Hertog Jan brewery. What Doekbrijder loves even more than making these irresistible indulgences, is sharing his knowledge and experience with the world. In his atelier, he organises workshops for individuals, groups and companies. “First, I show them a movie about how a cacao bean becomes chocolate and introduce them to some basic techniques. Afterwards, we start creating. During two or three hours, we work with mar-

zipan, soft caramel and, of course, chocolate. We even make our own fudge. In the end, we box up the creations as a tasty souvenir.” Kids are welcome for a playful workshop as well. For bachelor and bachelorette parties, Chocobreak even offers initiations in erotic chocolate. In short, everybody is welcome to immerse themselves in chocolate. According to Doekbrijder, anyone can do it. “I am always there and can help if necessary. So, if you dare to be creative, you will surely create something tasty and beautiful.” Web:

Authentic Dutch cheese, specially made TEXT: MICHIEL STOL  |  PHOTOS: CHEESEFARM BERKHOUT

The story began with a small farm, where cheese was made using leftover milk from its 15 cows. Almost 35 years later, Cheesefarm Berkhout has more than 180 cows and makes one the most ‘travelled’ cheeses in the world. “We honour the traditional craft and share it with the world,” say Marry and Ted Berkhout, who run the cheese making, along with Ted’s brother Nico, who runs the milk farm part of the company. Cheesefarm Berkhout is located in Hoogwoud, not far from Alkmaar, where the famous cheese market is. “My parents started the farm in 1974. I joined them in my early 20s and, in 2005, Nico and I took over the company,” Ted continues. “We produce a wide range of smaller cheeses which are perfect as a gift. Not only is the cheese made from cow’s milk, but we also make sheep and goat’s cheese.” The cheeses are made with all kinds of flavours, like 56  |  Issue 61  |  January 2019

truffle and garlic. They also use different kinds of spices such as chilli pepper, and herbs such as nettle. “A lot of people around the world have tasted our cheese,” explains Marry. This is because Berkhout’s cheeses are also sold at Schiphol Airport. “A lot of tourists come to the shop to taste authentic Dutch cheese, which we have made even more special. Our Ted & Marie range is very popular across the globe,” she smiles.

Knowing Berkhout’s cheeses are made at a traditional Dutch farm, where the famous Dutch cheese craftsmanship methods are used, gives them an even tastier flavour. “And everyone should enjoy that with us,” grins Ted.