Belgium is famous for many things, but perhaps its culinary scene is the most popular. From world-renowned chocolates and waffles to savory fries and delicious beer, Belgium has something to offer for every food lover. So if you’re planning a trip to Belgium, indulge in its gastronomic delights. Here’s a comprehensive guide to planning your food tour in Belgium.
Belgium is known for producing some of the finest chocolates in the world, and a trip to Belgium would only be complete with trying some. The country has many chocolatiers, but some of the most famous ones include Godiva, Neuhaus, Leonidas, and Pierre Marcolini. You can visit the stores to buy some chocolates or take a chocolate tour to learn about the history and production of Belgian chocolates. Brussels, Bruges, and Antwerp are the best places to take a chocolate tour.
Belgian waffles are another must-try when in Belgium. These delicious waffles are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and they come in two types: Brussels waffles and Liege waffles. Brussels waffles are rectangular and have a lighter texture, while Liege waffles are round and have a denser texture. You can find waffle stands all over Belgium, especially in Brussels and Bruges, where they are served with whipped cream, fruit, and chocolate sauce.
Belgium is also famous for its beer, with over 1,500 varieties to choose from. Some of the most famous Belgian beer types include Trappist, lambic, and abbey. Trappist beer is brewed by monks in monasteries and is known for its rich and complex flavors. Lambic beer is brewed using wild yeast and has a sour taste, while abbey beer is brewed by secular brewers using traditional methods. Some of the best places to sample Belgian beer include Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent, where you can visit standard bars and breweries.
Belgian fries, or frites, are a popular snack in Belgium and are served with various sauces such as mayonnaise, ketchup, and tartar sauce. The fries are typically thick-cut and fried twice to give them a crispy exterior and a soft interior. Some of the best places to try frites in Belgium include Maison Antoine in Brussels and Frituur Number One in Ghent.
Mussels are a popular dish in Belgium, and they are usually served with fries and a glass of beer. The most famous way of preparing mussels is Moules-Frites, a dish that consists of mussels cooked in white wine and served with fries. Some of the best places to try Moules-frites in Belgium include Chez Leon in Brussels and L’Estaminet in Bruges.
Speculoos is a type of cookie that is popular in Belgium, especially during the Christmas season. These cookies are made with a blend of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and are often served with coffee. You can find speculoos in most bakeries and supermarkets in Belgium.
Waterzooi is a traditional Belgian stew that is made with fish or chicken, vegetables, and cream. The dish originated in Ghent and is now famous all over Belgium.
Carbonnade Flamande is a traditional Belgian beef stew that is slow-cooked with onions, beer, and a range of spices. The savoury dish is typically served with potatoes or bread and is perfect for a cold winter’s night. It is popular in the French-speaking region of Wallonia, particularly in the cities of Liège and Namur.
While Waterzooi is popular in Ghent, the city has its own version of the dish called Gentse Waterzooi. This creamy stew is made with chicken or fish, vegetables, and a range of herbs and spices. It is typically served with potatoes and bread.
Vol-au-vent is a popular Belgian pastry with creamy chicken and mushroom sauce. The pastry is light and fluffy, and the filling is rich and savory. You can find vol-au-vent in most bakeries and cafes in Belgium.
Stoofvlees, also known as Flemish beef stew, is a slow-cooked dish made with beef, onions, beer, and various spices. The dish is typically served with fries and is a popular comfort food in Flanders.
Speculoos Ice Cream
While Speculoos cookies are a popular treat in Belgium, Speculoos ice cream is a less well-known but equally delicious dessert. This ice cream is flavored with Speculoos cookies and is usually served with whipped cream and caramel sauce. You can find Speculoos ice cream in most ice cream shops in Belgium.
Tarte au Sucre
Tarte au Sucre, or sugar pie, is a traditional Belgian dessert made with brown sugar, butter, and cream. The filling is sweet and rich, and the pastry is light and flaky. This dessert is popular in Wallonia, particularly in the cities of Liège and Namur.
Tomate aux Crevettes
Tomate aux Crevettes is a classic Belgian dish with a hollowed-out tomato filled with shrimp and mayonnaise. The dish is typically served as an appetizer and is popular in the coastal region of Belgium.
While beer is the most famous drink in Belgium, Jenever is the country’s national spirit. Jenever is a type of gin made with juniper berries and other botanicals. It is typically served in a shot glass and is often accompanied by a small snack, such as cheese or sausage. You can find Jenever in most bars and cafes in Belgium.
Luikse Sirop, also known as Liège syrup, is a thick and sweet syrup made from cooked apples and pears. Syrup is a popular ingredient in Belgian cuisine and is often used as a topping for waffles or pancakes. You can find Luikse Sirop in most supermarkets and specialty food stores in Belgium.
In conclusion, Belgium is a food lover’s paradise, with a range of amazing dishes to suit every taste. Belgium has something to offer if you’re in the mood for a filling stew or a delicate pastry. Feel free to explore the country’s lesser-known culinary delights and discover the hidden gems that Belgium has to offer.