Article du The Brussels Times Magazine
Belgium is synonymous with chocolate, and most of us can reel off the names of the most celebrated chocolatiers. But what about the others?
Angela Dansby has the sweet scoop on the ones you may not know.
Mi Joya Tervuren
Chocolate-making duo Caroline and Nicolas Aussems’s studied hotel management and originally aimed to open a hotel or restaurant, but after working with several chocolatiers, they became sweet about joining the profession themselves. The inspiration came from a trip to Mexico when they visited a cocoa plantation. After making chocolate at home, using small machines, they set up their Tervuren cocoa bean roastery, workshop and store Mi Joya (meaning “my jewel” in Spanish).
Mi Joya focuses on cocoa terroir from various countries (Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, India, Indonesia and Cameroon). “Starting with the basic product makes us feel closer to nature and gives us more satisfaction as we are
controlling the whole process from cacao bean to chocolate bar,” says Caroline Aussems. They don’t mix cacao beans, so they have single-origin chocolates. “And each of these chocolates has its own tastes: red fruit, hazelnut, caramel, coffee. Not because we have added any extra ingredients to the chocolate but because of the beans themselves,” she says.
Specialities include dark chocolate with bergamot, milk chocolate with cocoa nibs, Florentines (chocolate-coated chewy toffee), praliné hearts and ice creams. Mi Joya also offers chocolate-making and -tasting workshops for adults
and children a few times a year – a chance for others to create their own jewel.