Despite it still being early in the semester, the stomach wants what it wants and Belgium is just a (rather large) stone’s throw away and there to fulfil all your foodie desires.
The beautiful country of Belgium, famed for its neutrality, is sometimes overlooked in the food stakes, especially by the larger neighbours it nestles between – with France having the audacity to claim the Belgian frites as their own (or so the Belgians say).
However, in this rich and rainy country, the food game is seriously strong. Thanks to both Dutch and French influences, a trip to Belgium is sure to satisfy every sweet tooth around and, with the Belgian café culture, it is more than worth a visit.
Below are the Top 4 Foodie Reasons to visit Belgium:
In my opinion, it should be universally acknowledged that chocolate is humankind’s single greatest invention. Though as a diehard Cadbury’s fan I never thought I would admit this but – Belgians just do it better. With more than 2000 chocolate shops in the country, they’ve certainly had enough practice and the quality of chocolate definitely reflects this.
From truffles to chocolate pills, the selection is incredible and if that isn’t testament enough, this should be – whilst in Antwerp, I went into one chocolate shop, bought some truffles and had finished them by the time my friends had got around to paying for theirs – I didn’t even leave the shop before I had to buy more. The only issue here is that once you have tried Belgian chocolate, there’s absolutely no going back. You have been warned.
Belgian Waffles are so different from their supermarket equivalent that trying the Belgian originals was somewhat of a revelation. There are actually many types of waffles with the two most common being the Liège waffle – a beautifully caramelised version and the Brussels waffle – the lighter, rectangular waffle. It’s totally legitimate to eat atleast one of each a day (I hope). Top them with anything from strawberries to whipped cream, or stick with a classic icing sugar dusting. Perfection.
3. Chips (Belgian Frites)
It never occurred to me that I could justify chips as a delicacy but in Belgium, you can. The Belgians are incredibly proud of their chips and so they should be – their not-so-secret recipe of frying them twice (or ‘double-dipping’) and serving with the largest variety of sauces under the sun (though apparently Belgian fries taste so good they don’t need sauce) makes the chance of you ever wanting to go to McDonalds again highly unlikely. For Belgians, frites are a lifestyle. A lifestyle that you’ll want to emulate.
Belgian Beer is on a whole different level. It’s so good that it can even convert non-beer drinkers such as my friend who developed a slightly unhealthy (though justifiable) obsession with the Belgian Raspberry Beer (Framboise). Another Beer to try is a Bolleke de Koninck – an Antwerp special, sometimes considered as an old man’s drink – but in this case, the older are definitely the wiser. With hundreds of varieties to choose from, there’s no way you can get through them all – though there’s no harm in trying, is there?
This list is but a(n unhealthy) snippet of the mountains of delicious food on offer – with fabulous food, cafés and markets galore, a trip to Belgium should be very high up on your foodie bucket list.