Matcha in Belgium

We Belgians like food. It’s no secret that we are really good at a couple of things either, such as waffles, beer and -of course- chocolate.

So when you take the highest quality Belgian chocolate and  infuse it with Japan inspired tastes,  you can rest assured it’s going to be GOOD.

Too good to be true you say? Check again: it’s real! In Belgium. In my home town Ghent even!

Yuzu chocolates

Yuzu Chocolates is a small shop that produces very fine chocolates infused with Matcha , Yuzu and some more local tastes like Belgian beer. They are wonderul to look at and the packaging adds to the whole Japan feel. A very refined experience to say the least!

Yuzu Matcha Chocolate

My next matcha surprise was when a friend of mine brought back a cake from a pretty well known Belgian bakery named Joost Arijs with shops in Antwerp and recently also Ghent!

Check out this beauty:

Joost Arijs Matcha Pie

Next to being really beautifully made, it was really good as well, made of white chocolate on top of a matcha cake and passion fruit on the inside for some added contrast.

I really liked both the Yuzu chocolates as well as the cake, but I always seem to be missing out on the matcha taste. Of course it’s a precious (and expensive product) and it’s a new experience for most customers here, so I understand where this is coming from.  There’s no need to play it safe however: matcha tastes wonderful!

All in all I’m really happy to see matcha in Belgium is rising up and I will be writing more about it as I go along finding the places to be. Watch out for part 2!

And as always, thanks for sharing 🙂

Matcha Pudding Surprise

Last weekend we were invited for diner at a friend’s place. This usually means I bring a bottle or wine, or help with the dishes afterwards. Anything but me getting involved in the actual making of the food generally ends up OK 🙂

To everyone’s surprise, I made the following bold announcement: I will make dessert today! And I’m going to do it all by myself!

It’s a good thing everyone was seated, as nobody was expecting this. The resulting silent stares also showed a  painful lack of faith.

It was time to bring out…the box!

It’s easy to see where I got my confidence. Making the desert isn’t exactly a huge challenge, as conveniently displayed (in English!) on the back:

  1. Put a stick of pudding mix into the cup.
  2. Add 60ml of hot water (90° or higher) and stir well about 1 minute
  3. Cool it down in the refrigerator over 3 hours

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Matcha Azuki: a match(a) made in heaven!

Japan is really fond of these little red beans called Azuki (Adzuki). They are grown all around East-Asia and are used a lot in in all types of foods, like hot dishes, soups, porridge, confectionery, etc. Most popular however is the sweetened Azuki paste called Anko, which turns out to go really well with Matcha.

Check out this really nice matcha cake with anko filling for example. Would you be able to resist it? Right 😉

Alas, a freshly prepared cake like this will be out of reach for many of us westerners. Unless you feel like paying $$$ to fly it across  oceans and continents in a couple of days.  Not the best of ideas indeed.

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