Belgium may be a small country, but its cuisine packs a big punch. Due to its geographical location, Belgium has been influenced by the culinary traditions of its neighboring countries, resulting in a rich and diverse food culture that is uniquely Belgian. From savory to sweet, there is something to satisfy every palate.
One of the most iconic dishes of Belgium is moules-frites, or mussels and fries. Steamed mussels cooked in a flavorful broth and served with crispy golden fries are a quintessential Belgian delicacy. The dish is often accompanied by a side of mayonnaise or aioli for dipping the fries. Enjoying a plate of moules-frites at a local brasserie is a must-do experience when visiting Belgium.
As Belgians are renowned for their love of beer, it comes as no surprise that beer plays a central role in their cuisine. In fact, Belgium is home to over 1,500 varieties of beer, each with its own unique flavors and brewing techniques. From Trappist ales to fruity lambics, beer enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice. To truly appreciate the Belgian beer culture, take a visit to one of the many beer bars or breweries dotted around the country.
No visit to Belgium is complete without indulging in some delectable chocolate. Belgian chocolate is famous worldwide for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship. Whether you prefer dark, milk, or white chocolate, you will find a wide array of flavors and textures to satisfy your sweet tooth. Treat yourself to a visit to a chocolate shop and witness firsthand the art of chocolate making. Don’t forget to take some mouthwatering chocolates home as souvenirs.
Belgium is also known for its hearty and comforting stews. One such dish is carbonade flamande, a rich beef stew cooked in beer and flavored with onions and spices. The beer imparts a deep, complex flavor to the tender chunks of meat, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Another traditional stew is waterzooi, which is typically made with chicken or fish cooked in a creamy broth with vegetables and herbs. These stews are best enjoyed during the colder months, as they warm both the body and soul.
In addition to its savory delights, Belgium is also famous for its waffles. The country offers two types of waffles: Brussels waffles and Liège waffles. Brussels waffles are light and airy, with deep squares to hold your choice of toppings, such as whipped cream, fruit, or chocolate sauce. On the other hand, Liège waffles are denser and sweeter, thanks to the addition of pearl sugar that caramelizes during cooking. No matter which type you choose, a warm waffle drizzled with your favorite toppings is a heavenly treat.