We all know about Belgian chocolate or Belgian fries, but are they all this country offers if it comes to cuisine? Of course not! Like every country, Belgium has a wide variety of local dishes and snacks for everyone to enjoy, both locals and tourists alike. Today, we will take you on a journey, but not your ordinary one – prepare yourself for a culinary journey through Belgium!
Yes, it is the most famous food in Belgium, but it would be a crime not to at least mention it. The most recognised thing about Belgian chocolate is its high quality and unique taste. Kingdom has over 2,000 different chocolatiers, being home to some of the most famous chocolate brands in the world, such as Côte d’or, Leonidas and Neuhaus.
Belgian chocolate owns its quality to the very high standard of production and ingredients used. The whole process has been regulated since 1884 by law and has been unchangeable since. It requires all chocolates to have a pure cocoa amount of at least 35% and advises lowering the low-quality fat content.
Putting sweets aside for a moment, let’s talk about the main courses. Belgium cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes, all made from seasonal products widely available in the country, such as potatoes or leeks.
Carbonade flamande and Moules-frites are two of many national dishes of Belgium.
The first is a stew made from Flamish beef, onion and other differentiating ingredients, usually served with boiled potatoes, Stoemp (another Belgian dish – mashes potatoes with other vegetables) or fries. The latter is a simple dish containing mussels and fries, as the name suggests.
Another Belgian national dish is Waterzooi, a stew dish made from boiling fish, other seafood or chicken with the vegetables and herbs in a soup base made from egg yolks, cream and vegetable broth.
Belgium likes its sweets, but who can blame them – so do we. One of the Belgian national dishes is a dessert – a chocolate mousse, to be exact. Other Belgian desserts include different types of waffles (like Brussels-style waffles or stroopwafel), Cuberdon, Croustillons/smoutebollen and Sirop de Liège/Luikse siroop.
Cuberdon is hard, purple candy made from gum arabic. It is common to call it “a nose” in many places and dialects due to the shape resembling a human nose.
Croustillons/smoutebollen, on the other hand, are balls of sweet dough deep-fried with hot oil or hot lard (depending on the recipe). Usually, people eat them on special occasions, such as October fair.
While not technically a dish, Sirop de Liège/Luikse siroop is usually present on the lists describing Belgian cuisine and presented as a sweet dish. It’s a jam-like spread used on bread, made without sugar or sweeteners.