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  • Writer's pictureDan Brighurst

A Culinary Odyssey in Belgium

Updated: Apr 30

So, before I landed in Brussels, I did what any budding self-respecting foodie would do: I consulted the oracle known as Uncle Google for a culinary roadmap. And you know what? The list seemed pretty straightforward, if anything it was a little uninspiring when you're expecting meals and not just dessert. But let me tell you, dear reader, there's magic in simplicity. Each bite, each sip, was a revelation. Sure, you don't have to make waffles, fries, chocolate, and beer your entire diet, but trust me when I say they're all worth a taste. So go ahead, indulge a little. Your taste buds will thank you.


Waffles




Picture this: you're strolling through the charming streets of Belgium, and suddenly, the air is filled with the tantalizing aroma of freshly made waffles. It's like a siren call to your taste buds, pulling you towards the nearest waffle house. And wow, do those waffles look like works of art! But here's the kicker - trying to eat them on the go with a flimsy bamboo stick? Not as easy, especially trying to get a great travel selfie for evidence. Yet, despite the challenge, sinking your teeth into those golden, syrup-drenched delights is pure bliss. While there are loads of places providing these amazing authentic Belgian waffles all over the place, one store stood out like a sore thumb. 'Australian Ice-Cream and Waffles'? It beats me why this is a thing, the ice cream maybe, but I never knew Australia was renowned for its waffles. I went Belgian, would you have tried them? Got any Aussie waffle tales to share?


Frites


Now, let's talk frites. Sure, at first glance, they might seem like your run-of-the-mill chips or fries, depending on which side of the pond you're from. But did you know that these crispy, fluffy wonders actually have a fascinating history? Legend has it that American soldiers, fresh from WW2, mistook Belgium for France and took the concept of fries back home, dubbing them "French fries." Oops! So technically, they should be called Belgian Fries. Regardless of the name, one bite of these freshly fried beauties, and you'll understand why they're a national treasure. These freshly cut and fried frites were always golden and crunchy on the outside while being fluffy on the inside. Often served with mayonnaise but Belgians often go for the Adolouse sauce made from mayonnaise, tomato paste, and peppers. It's not too spicy just enough to add a zing and be delicious! If you're the type who hunts for those coveted crunchy fries at the bottom of the bag, then Belgian Frites are your holy grail.


Chocolate


Ah, chocolate. Just saying the word conjures up images of rich, velvety goodness, doesn't it? And in Belgium, chocolate isn't just a treat; it's practically a way of life. Wander through the city centre, and you'll be surrounded by chocolate stores, each one a testament to the artistry of chocolate making. From classic flavours to innovative creations like Banana Crumble chocolate, there's something to satisfy every craving. And if you're feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at crafting your own chocolates? I took joined a workshop along with 17 other people where we were educated and guided through the process of making pralines and mendiants. Trust me, it's a fun experience worth indulging in. Plus, you'll walk away with a box of heavenly delights that you made with your own two hands.



Beer


Now, let's raise a glass to Belgian beer. Even if, like me, you're not typically a beer aficionado (I don't even like beer that much especially fancy beers), Belgium might just convert you. Picture this: a lively night out with fellow travellers, hopping from one cosy pub to the next, sampling beers of all shapes and sizes. And the best part? Each one is a smooth, flavorful masterpiece, making it dangerously easy to sip your way through the night, I tried a different beer each time and didn't find one I didn't like. Feeling brave? Dive into Delirium Village, where you'll find yourself faced with over 2000 different beers to tempt your taste buds. Just remember, moderation is key – you don't want to end up sampling them all in one go!



What toppings would you put on waffles? Have you got a favourite Belgian beer? Share your Belgian food experiences below.

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2 Comments


brittanymae623
Apr 28

My go to waffle toppings are streaky bacon, caramelized banana, maple syrup and cream. Yummy!

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Dan Brighurst
Dan Brighurst
Apr 28
Replying to

That seems to be a standard waffle or pancake thing in NZ (and probably other places too). Only saw one place offering savoury waffles. Didn’t see the options. But you’re making me hungry!

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