Traditional Food of Belgium
Belgian foods have taken on many influences over the years due to invasions throughout history by Romans, Vikings, Spanish, English and French, all of which have left their mark on the country’s cuisine. There is a much quoted saying that “Belgian food is served with French finese and German generosity!”
Belgium is, of course, famous for it’s wonderful Chocolates, which are enjoyed world wide. Creamy pralines are especially good and one can not visit Belgium without bringingback at least a small selection of chocolates to enjoy at home. With 172,000 tons of chocolate being produced in Belgium each year and over 2,000 chocolate shops, there are many visitors with the same idea.
Another famous food that Belgium claims for it’s own are “frites”, although know as French fries they are thought to originate in Belgium and `Frites et Moules` are as popular in Belgium as they are in France.
Waffles or Gauffres are enourmously popular and stands selling waffles can be found on streets all over Belgium. The foods within Belgium differ with the region you are visiting, Flanders (Vlaanderen) in the north of the country has a mainly Dutch influence and Walloon (Wallonie) in the south takes on more of a French influence. Also for a relatively small country, they boast 165 different kinds of Cheeses. Most dishes in Belgium are based on either meat or fish, so for vegetarians there is not a lot on offer.
In the North of the country fish and seafoods feature strongly, due to the Dutch influence. Large pots of steaming mussels are to be found everywhere and herrings with onions are among other favourites. In the South you will find more meat based dishes, often accompanied with creamy sauces to compliment the meal.
We must not forget that Belgium is, of course, also famous for it’s vast selection of beers. With 125 breweries producing around 450 brands of beer, and with many smaller producers brewing their own “one off” beers that gives over 1,000 different kinds of beer to choose from. That should keep even the most fussy drinker happy! Most of the beers are of the Lager kind, a light beer, but there are also the darker beers and white beers. The Belgians have also produced several beers flavoured with fruits, the main one being Cherry. To many a beer drinker this seems very strange at first, but once tasted you find it extremely refreshing.
Breakfast in Belgium is a mainly simple affair with toast and jam served with coffee, tea, chocolate or fruit juice. Although they are famous for their waffles, you will not usually find these on the breakfast table. Waffles are more often than not, sold on the tourist trails. For Lunch and evening meals there are many tasty dishes to consider such as:-Waterzooi– A chicken or fish based soup. Vlaamse Stovery or La Carbonade Flamande- A beef stew cooked in dark beer and served, traditionally with potatoes. Moules frites – A favourite, and every bit as popular in Belgium as in France. Endives and Asparagus are popular vegetables in Belgium and are grown by the ton. These are just a very small selection of foods from Belgium and we would like to hear from you some of the recipes and traditional foods of Belgium so that we can include them here.
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