zird is the word (lizardek) wrote,
zird is the word
lizardek

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CHOCOLATE RESURRECTION

One of the things I really miss about the time we spent in Belgium when I was a teenager was the food. Not everything, of course, but it was our first experience with European cuisine and I'm sure any Belgian and Dutch friends of mine will be horrified to hear how much I miss frikandels. It's a taste I can still conjure up in my head. Mmmmmmmm! I still eat mayo with my french fries pommes frites whenever I can. Ketchup is for you vulgar Americans who don't know any better.

I missed Napoleon lemon balls too, for years, until I moved to Sweden and a few years ago, they started appearing in some of the specialty candy stores. Yay! They were the best lemon balls in the world. Just the right amount of sour and a special kick of soury lemon powder goodness once you reached the center. And they even come in other flavors now!

But what I missed most was Callebaut candy bars. My mom discovered these, and oh how we loved them. I am surprised now, actually, because they were dark chocolate, and I didn't care for dark chocolate until well into adulthood, but I have very fond memories of the filled candy bars, filled with various delicious flavors. The pistachio was divine, and the strawberry not far behind. We didn't get them that often, but o! the joy when we did.

Then we moved back to the States and Callebaut candy bars became but a memory. You COULD find Callebaut in the US, but it was only the bars of baking chocolate, not the yummy yummy filled candy bars. Sigh.

I've found them twice in the 18 years since I moved to Sweden...both times in the Amsterdam airport.

Imagine my horror when I heard last year that Callebaut (now Barry Callebaut) had stopped making the candy bars some time ago. They apparently decided to concentrate on their core business: industrial chocolate for companies like Nestlé. That explained why I never found them in any chocolate shop among the imports or in the Amsterdam airport anymore.

For Christmas, Anders is in charge of filling my stocking. I take care of his and both the kids, but I think it's only fair that he has to make the effort. :) He always does a good job, too, and in the past couple of years has employed Karin's shopping instincts to help him find the perfect items. This year, he outdid himself.

One of the first gifts I unwrapped from my stocking on Christmas morning was a banana chocolate bar...in exactly the same kind of packaging that Callebaut bars used to come in, though the name on it was new to me: Jacques. And a little later on, a pistachio bar (!) and then 6 small vanilla raisin bars! O JOY!

He has a Belgian colleague and at some point, mentioned my love of the Callebaut candy bars and sadness that they were no longer available. His coworker told him that they were! The business had been bought by a different Belgian chocolate company and they were now manufactured under a new name. He brought a pile back from a trip home for Anders to give to me!

And if I hadn't been leaving THAT day for the States, he would have brought back frikandels for us, too! (they couldn't be refrozen, so Anders opted not to have him bring them) Here's hoping he'll manage to get those to Sweden at some point in the near future and maybe some more of the candy bars, since my pistachio bar is a quarter half gone. Mmmmmmmmm
Tags: goodthings, holidaze
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