Looking at my map upon exiting Stop #7 (Wittamer), I realized I had a bit of a walk ahead of me. Zaabär was the farthest of all the shops. It was on the other side of the business district. But I’m a walker by nature (not cause I hate ya), so I sucked it up, and strode onward. The walk was really quite nice. I got to glimpse another side of the city – the city center – full of old buildings and new towers, peacefully coexisting side by side, with hundreds of working folks and tourists passing by in a continuous stream. I walked with eyes wide open, taking it all in, including this random tree, in the middle of a city block.
I have no idea really what kind of tree it even was – but it definitely struck my fancy. After a few more turns, I finally arrived at…
Stop #8: Zaabär.
Upon entering Zaabär, I was brought face to face with an area where the chocolate was being made, on display, behind a glass wall for tourists to see. To the right, was a long corridor, with fun images of chocolate making on the wall.
At the end of the hall, was the shop itself. Zaabär was clean, and modern, and classy. It reminded me of IKEA. The only thing missing were Swedish meatballs.
There were people milling around, seriously discussing their pending purchases. This shop was no joke. I wondered around for a bit, poking my nose into all the displays. They had a giant section devoted entirely to flavored chocolate, some on the rather exotic side. I spied a lavender chocolate, and I was sold. I purchased a cinnamon as well, along with a rose. It was a very tough decision – they had an amazing selection of some pretty intense flavors. But I was able to eventually narrow it down.
I also couldn’t resist the truffles…so I picked up a two pack of them, too.
Well, needless to say, this was some good stuff. It was different – I’ve never really had chocolate quite like it. It was like the craft beer of chocolate. Once you try it, you really can’t imagine drinking Coors again (not that I ever did…).
Next up, Stop #9, Laurent Gerbaud: The happiest chocolate shop on earth.