- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Easter treats: Staying at home doesn't mean missing out on the annual choc-feast
Fill your basket with eggs! Easter is around the corner and many of us – even more than usual – are looking forward to the seasonal indulgence. If you’re shopping for necessities, pick up a chocolate treat at the same time. From supermarket mini eggs, to handcrafted confectionary in your local bakery and an array of online offers from artisans and big brands, Belgium is doing its best to retain its chocolate capital title. As some chocolatiers are forced to close for the moment, there’s still the possibility of feeding your chocolate egg habit beyond the traditional spring season.
Belgian chocolatiers are also showing their support to frontline workers. More than 10m Easter treats are being donated to the care sector in Belgium by the chocolate, biscuit and confectionery federation Choprabisco. “Since even the Easter bells are not allowed to fly out this year, Belgian chocolatiers are donating Easter products en masse this year to those who mainly work for others during this period,” it said.
The big chains such as Delhaize, Carrefour, Colruyt and Aldi, all offer a good range of own-branded packets of mini eggs and figurines as well as named brands. As they all ordered their Easter range months in advance, many have surplus stock. Since last Friday, there’s a 15% discount on a selection of Carrefour’s Easter chocolate, while Colruyt is offering 25% off all of its Easter range, except for its small loose eggs. Meanwhile, Delhaize is donating a portion of its stock to senior citizens' homes in the country. The big stores are usually the best outlets for buying mini eggs – perfect for Easter egg hunts for the little ones. There’s as much fun– if not more - in the search for the brightly-foiled treasure, whether it be concealed indoors or scattered outside.
Support local stores while respecting #stayathome measures by purchasing your Easter chocolate in neighbourhood bakeries and patisseries. With bread a daily staple, these frontline stores have also had to adapt to security regulations, and the majority are welcoming customers with handcrafted Easter delights. Some of them have been showing their support for frontline workers by delivering batches of baked to local hospitals.
If you can’t, or are avoiding going out, and with supermarkets limiting online deliveries, consider buying Easter eggs and confectionary online. With individual chocolate stores closed because they are not selling essential items, many have resorted to online selling to ease their financial hardship. Among the familiar names, Neuhaus can deliver for free for orders over €30. Its seasonal speciality is chocolate eggs – small and large – filled with mini eggs and gift-wrapped in a pink box adorned with butterflies (€25-100). Leonidas is also operating home deliveries, including its oval gift box with 320g small eggs €13.90. It has added a 20th flavour option to its range of mini eggs - Gold is a marbled milk chocolate shell containing a golden chocolate ganache with a caramel flavour and sugar cane crystals from Mauritius. Valentino’s outlets are open during Easter week (its flagship store is in Dilbeek) and the chocolatier is also running a webshop. Planète Chocolat boasts a large range of Easter goodies and offers free delivery in Belgium.
Some of Belgium’s artisan chocolate makers are selling a selection of their seasonal specialities online. Brussels’ Benoît Nihant offers free deliveries on orders over €20. His star creation this season is an egg in the form of a colourful feathered peacock sculpted from dark Dominican chocolate (small format €31.90). The colourful bird shelters under its wings additional chocolate delights in the form of little bells, eggs and turtles. Alternatively, the chocolatier offers boxes of shiny jewelled ‘flamboyant eggs’. Feast on mini chocolate eggs by artisan chocolatier Laurent Gerbaud (€9.50/100g eggs). His city centre store, café and workshop may be closed during confinement, but it’s possible to order his creations via efarmz, which delivers organic and Belgian produce to Brussels and the periphery. Gerbaud is one of many businesses in the capital seeking support through the keepingbrusselsalive initiative. Fellow Brussels artisan Frédéric Blondeel is open for business, taking orders at his Koekelberg store, while his range of confectionary is also available via Deliveroo.