The Tastes of Belgium and Beyond
Belgian waffle stands fill the streets with a sweet aroma (impossible to resist), Belgian beers you can’t pronounce and enough chocolate, meringue and caramel to excite anyone’s sweet tooth – these are just a few of the regions more popular tastes. We were very fortunate to be taken out for a few very fine meals while in Belgium – we enjoyed every bite of these delicious plates.
One of the first things you’ll notice in Belgium is the menus are primarily in French making it difficult for Emily and I to find things we were familiar with – but that didn’t stop us from trying new things as well. In particular the town of Scharbeek is more a locals area so many of the eateries around us did NOT have the option of an English menu – often we found ourselves guessing what was in the majority of the dishes. The first day we found ourselves at a Sandwicherie (the name says it all) a lunch spot that served up some delicious, but large sandwiches. We tried the roast beef sandwich and the ham sandwich both looked very traditional to us – but the tastes were slightly different than rolling up to a Subway. They use mayonnaise on a variety of their dishes here – it’s very common for the frittes shops (French fry stands) to serve the crispy potatoes delicacies with mayo instead of ketchup. In fact I think we only ate ketchup one time with our frites when we were near the North Shore. Frites are a bit different than American French fries – typically they prefry the potatoes in beef tallow (fat) and then flash fry them a second time giving them ultimate crisp and true Belgian flavor – also they aren’t drowning in salt so you don't feel like crap eating these.
The waffles and sweet treats in Belgium are to die for… unlike American waffles you don’t need any syrup for these puppies. Sweet as honey, fluffy as a pillow and just the perfect snack while you stroll from one row of ancient streets to the next. It’s hard to resist stopping into the different chocolate stores – where we grabbed a nice chunk of milk chocolate and caramel sea salt – if you’re a chocoholic then this is the place for you to visit. While we were in Brugge, Belgium with our amazing tour guides we stopped at a chocolate shop for some meringue and caramel almond chocolate crunches (aren’t you hungry just reading this).
For dinner we tried some things familiar to us and some things that were very foreign to us – for example: lamb in a sweet chili sauce and Belgian muscles (very common thru the entire region - also known as Belgian moules). One of my favorite dishes was called – Croque Madame which is essentially a ham and grilled cheese sandwich with a fried egg on top – and like a total American I made an attempt to eat this with my hands. Here in Belgium they always use silverware when eating so keep this in mind but coming from America I wasn’t sure what to do. Emily had a traditional garlic butter sauce scampi with shrimp that she enjoyed as well – we had a great meal in Knokke, Belgium - I recommend this stop while your Belgium for the views of the sea and the food. Our second to last night in Belgium we were treat again to a phenomenal meal – I took the Waterzooi (originating from the Belgian town Ghent) a chicken dish in a thick broth almost a gravy consistency with potatoes cooked in and Emily tried a salad with crangon. Crangon are a tiny, tiny shrimp peeled by hand and only come from the North Sea area here near the European peninsula – her salad came loaded with mayonnaise and the crangon aren’t steamed or cooked in anyway so this dish was more than ‘different’ to us. I shared some of my waterzooi dish with her as we enjoyed one of our last meals and nights in Belgium.
It was delightful eating and staying here in Belgium, we learned a lot about European culture and food that we will take with us into other areas of our trip. We're having a fantastic time so far, continue to follow us, its been exciting to see more and more people becoming interested in what we are doing here at Meet You There. Soon we're going to open the doors for collaborators to join us and share travels on our networks with us. Interested in helping build content for meetyouthere.me ??! Leave us a comment or go >> Connect with on our social pages. ~MYT