I live near Belgium so I have visited this country many times. I really fell in love with the gastronomy. If you love belgian endive, stincky cheese or french fries, you will not be disappointed !
The famous french fries
I have to warn you : belgian gastronomy does not make you lose weight ! But what a delight ! You absolutely need to taste the local food specialities. That would be an unforgivable mistake not to savor at least a cornet of those crunchy french fries. Yes, it is a cliché but it doesn’t matter. Who goes to Paris without visiting the Eiffel tower ? Seriously ?
French fries are crunchy because they are twice cooked. The first sensation is the crunchy and salty but those feelings are quickly replaced by a delicious sensation : the potato that melts in your mouth … Yes, I would give my life for french fries. Do not judge me ! There is nothing wrong with that. Warning : french fries in Belgium are cooked in beef grease so they are not suitable for a vegetarian lifestyle.
Carbonade flamande, potjevleesch, waterzooi et stoemp
Vegetarian and vegans, you can move to the next paragraph because those local food specialities are not for you unfortunately. Do not worry, I will talk about desserts soon…
The “carbonade flamande” is a meal with beef, onions and brown sugar. It taste like “boeuf bourguignon”, a very famous french meal. But, it is cooked with beer instead of wine. It is usually served with French fries. Yes, potatoes are everywhere in that country ! Deal with it !
Potjevleesch is a mix of several meats (rabbit, pork, veal and chicken) in jelly. It is always served with potatoes too. Waterzooï is a meal with fish or chicken (it depends) cooked in a broth. It is a kind of soup. You still risk to find potatoes but this time, there will be vegetables too. Finally !
To conclude, the stoemp. It is mashed potatoes. Yes, potato again ! Let me comfort you, you will find a few vegetables in this mash. This local food speciality is generally served with a white sausage.
Liege, city of salty and sweet delights
Liege is a French-speaking city of Wallonia in Belgium. “Le sirop de Liège” is a fruit syrup (pear and apple, sometimes dates). The texture is strange and the color is black like “vegemite” (famous local speciality of Australia). Fortunately, the taste is much better. It replaces easily jam for the breakfast.
This syrup is also used for typical meals as the “boulets à la liégoise“. It is meatballs prepared with pork and beef meats. Nothing original ? Well, it is served with a sweet sauce (thanks to “sirop de Liège”) which gives a typical flavor to this meal. And with the meatballs ? French fries of course.
Even more famous : waffles ! Do I really need to explain what it is ? I don’t think so ! If you do not know what it is (shame on you), just watch the photo. Yes, I can see you right now, you are drooling over. You can also taste the “salade liégeoise“. It is prepared with potatoes, green beans and diced bacon. I never tasted it so if you had, let a comment below.
On the other hand, the “bouquette” is a meal of my childhood. My mother used to prepare it. It is moreover very surprising because my family lives in the east of France and not in the North… Maybe it is not exactly a “bouquette” but it looks like it. This local food speciality is a kind of pancake prepared with buckwheat flour and raisins. Simple and tasty.
Spéculoos and merveilleux
I would give my life for a spéculoos ! When I will write an article about Lille, my city of adoption, I shall give you the name of a restaurant where you will taste a spéculoos tiramisu. This is a spiced biscuit. It is a little bit grainy with a heady taste of cinnamon.
The “merveilleux” (wonderfull in english) is a very sweet cake. It is a mix of whipped cream and meringues. Our Belgian friends thought that it was better necessary to cover the cake with shavings of chocolate… You can also savour it in Lille in the shop :” Aux merveilleux “.
Belgian cheese & beers
This article would not be long enough to talk about belgian cheese & beers. These two things are too much important ! So I’ve decided to publish in the next few weeks a specific article.
Other popular dishes
You should absolutely taste :
- “Chicons” or endives : braised, in a soup, with cheese, with ham …
- Shrimps croquettes : popular dish in Brussels
- The “fricadelle” : a sausage (only for those who are afraid of nothing)
- The “mitrailette” : a fricadelle served in some bread (“baguette”) with French fries on top of it and some sauce. In the north of France, this dish is also called “Américain”
- Mussels with French fries.
You do not have to forgot the “babeluttes” (sweet caramels), the “cramique” (brioche with raisins) and of course, eat a lot of chocolate !