Beirut is a chocoholic’s dream city. Every city corner (or about) has one chocolate shop or another. It is part of the Lebanese social mores to offer a box of chocolates as a hostess gift or for any occasion deemed of significance. Well the Lebanese chocolate landscape, made-up mostly of local chocolate houses, has been endowed with a world-famous Belgian chocolate house, Galler. I peeked-in recently and wanted to report on my findings.
Galler is the name of Jean Galler, a pastry and chocolate chef who discovered his passion for chocolate at the age of 16. Galler trained at Lenôtre and chocolate masters in Paris and Switzerland, receiving the medal of “Best bakery-pastry chef apprentice of Belgium” in 1974. He took his talent, passion and energy as far as he could, first opening his own chocolate factory in Belgium, then expanding his retail outlets all over the world. Galler chocolate shops are now found from Dubai to Brussels or Paris. The Galler shop is elegant and understated, with a bright and warm color palette of golden pine and oranges. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. The range of choices is exhaustive, with flavors from the most classic to the most creative (such as curry and matcha!). The shop also carries sugar-free chocolate bars, candies such as mendiant or truffles or macarons, and a line of pastes such as hazelnut, caramel or cocoa. All the chocolate is made using the most stringent international standards of hygiene and quality and palm oil is NOT used. The chocolates are made and flown directly from Belgium.
I had to try some. Bittersweet.
The chocolate tasted delicious, and was silky smooth. The hallmark of a superior chocolate. The chocolate snapped crisply and was glossy and perfectly tempered; it was extra creamy with a lingering aroma. I then got a hold of an 85% cocoa bar, and plan to use it to make chocolate mousse tomorrow. Nothing equals superior chocolate to cook and bake with! Next, I will try the hazelnut paste on my baguette for a weekend treat.
The only drawback (for me personally) is that the shop is located outside of Beirut proper in a dense suburban area off the highway in Zalka. I hope they deliver!
Following Lebanese customs, they have devoted a second floor of their shop to discuss chocolate gifts and arrangements with their clientele for special occasions.
Galler Chocolatiers, Zalka, Le Baron Center, Ground Floor, Metn, Lebanon.
+961 4 416 614
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