Food in Belgium
When you think about cheese producing nations then France or Switzerland immediately spring to mind. However, in Belgium you will also find several hundred different cheeses, many from artisanal cheese makers. The news about the quality of Belgian cheese is now filtering through to the retail and gastronomy sectors....
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We succumb every single time. Our affection for our national pride, 'frieten' or 'frites', goes as deep as our love for our beer, chocolate and waffles. Nothing tastes as good as a paper cone filled to the brim with golden-brown, fries doused in salt and….. Just image a...
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We are so used to quality food in Belgium that it is often taken for granted. It is of course when we travel abroad that we really start to miss our local specialities. Nothing tastes as good as our home made jam from freshly picked strawberries, cherries or rhubarb...
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Chocolate is of such importance in Belgium that it deserves its own page. You could say this is proven by the fact that Belgians eat 8 kilo's of the stuff each and every year. Of course, chocolate has many creators but, with the possible exception of Switzerland, there's only one...
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Food and Produce
Whether in Wallonia, Flanders or Brussels you will always be able to enjoy a wide array of regional specialties, typical dishes or world class gastronomy. There is some superb produce and enough quality restaurants bistros and cafés serving the best every season has to offer. The art of...
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We would not be dedicating a whole page to this subject if it wasn’t worth it, but Belgium has one of the highest densities of Michelin starred restaurants in Europe, and by extension, the world. The Belgian food and hospitality industry at almost all levels is superb and one...
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This is your basic guide to contemporary day-to-day Belgian cuisine. Not every dish here is 100% authentic but they all are an indispensable part of Belgium’s culinary culture. You’ll find them served at many local restaurants, bistros and brasseries. A couple of them are even listed on our beer...
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All of us Belgians were born with a thoroughly sweet tooth. We enjoy 'babelutten', 'bonbons', 'gommetjes', 'nougat', 'spekken', 'veters' or 'karamellen'. Complete the list with our endless range of regional specialties and you are not far off compiling an entire volume of confectionary poetry. You can go to...
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Detailed information about Belgian food, fresh and seasonal produce plus the many regional specialities, both savoury and sweet; including Belgian chocolates of course.
It is an open secret that Belgium is great for foodies. In itself, this is quite remarkable - such a diverse kitchen for such a small country. We are not a major player on the agricultural stage, we simply do not have the space. Nevertheless, a number of regions are known for their chicory, for Brussels sprouts, asparagus and potatoes, or for fruits such as apples, pears and strawberries.
All of this produce comes with its own distinctive taste, best enjoyed when in season. A strawberry grown out in the open, hop shoots in early spring, sprouts in winter… simply delightful.
The secret goes beyond good, pure-tasting products. Our food culture is in our genes. A quick snack caught on the run is perfectly fine in these busy times; preparing a slap-up meal does take time, after all. We may well let this pass during the week, then go mad in the kitchen at the weekend. Cooking has become all the rage in recent years. The best-selling books are all cookery manuals produced by our TV chefs. Every possible cookery format has been shown on the small screen. But beyond the omnipresent reality TV there are the rich culinary flavours of everyday life. Here we would like to give you a glimpse behind the screens.
Leafing through these virtual pages, you are immediately struck by how many lovely products we have listed.
First and foremost, there is beer, but of course there is chocolate, there are fries – twice-cooked, of course. The parade of sweet delicacies is virtually endless, especially if you zoom in on the regional specialties we unearth.
And let’s not forget the classics: mussels and fries, vol-au-vent or steak and fries. These can be found on the menu of most brasseries, bistros and restaurants and are also prepared in every home kitchen. Coincidentally, they all go quite well with a beer.
However, not all of our products are so well known. Did you know, for example, that over 300 different cheeses are produced in Belgium? We make every type of cheese (except mountain cheeses – we have no mountains): from hard abbey cheeses to blue-veined cheeses, pasteurised or unpasteurised, made from cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk. You will come across cheeses that could please any palate, to veritable smell and taste bombs like real Brussels cheese or a Herve. There’s plenty to discover with the help of these pages.
What is this little country’s big culinary secret, beyond all this lovely produce and its many delicious preparations? Above all, it is our love of good food and fine dining. We also have strong, respected traditions and the great expertise of those who grow or prepare the very best products every single day. This is the common theme that lies at the heart of every food story. Quality lies in the art of transformation and taking the time to achieve the best results. This takes us back neatly to the essence of the brewing trade, as the brewer also needs patience and skill to turn the very best ingredients into his very best beer.
Treasure hunting in beer country
HOEGAARDEN - Saturday morning. I am entering the car park of sports hall De Struysvogel in Hoegaarden. There are plenty of cars already and between them, blankets are spread out, covered in a wi... [ more ]
Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon, beers with a soul
ARLON/AARLEN - Beer trader and sommelier Christophe Gillard of Mi-Orge Mi-Houblon in Aarlen (Arlon) isn’t one for beating around the bush: “I only sell beers that have my complete support, usually from brewers I know per... [ more ]
Belgian abbey beer - something for everyone
Enjoy a Belgian abbey beer and you will taste the fruits of a long tradition that is thankfully still around today. For centuries on end, abbeys were the ‘engine’ of the economy. It is hard to o... [ more ]
OMER. Traditional Blond has a particularly interesting history, wrapped up as it is with the history of the family behind the brewery. It was in 1892 that Omer Vander Ghinste start... [ more ]