Belgian food is a classical representation of Belgium's influences of the French, Dutch and German cultures. The spice usage in food, beer habits and appetizing fries are the indications for this. There is a common belief that in Belgium French dishes can be had in German serving variations. Popular Belgian food preparations include - Stoemp, Salade Liégeoise, Vlaamse stoofkarbonaden, Waffles and Tomate-crevette.
Historical and Cultural Influences on Belgian Cuisine
Belgian Food ideas have emphatically been influenced by historical events in the past with the rule of clans such as the Celts, Romans, Franks, Vikings, Spanish, Austrian and French since centuries. Left by the invaded cultures, cooking practices got garnered into Belgian cuisine along with farming and animal rearing practices. With time Belgium grew out to be a thriving center of spice trade in Europe dealing with varieties of spices favored as seasonings in dishes. The beer culture of Belgium is equally heralding for the exquisite usage of spices in the brew, making it a national drink. Vegetables also formed a pivotal part of Belgian food with Brussels sprouts, potatoes and endives being the significant ones dealt with since 1200s.
Ingredients Commonly Used in Belgian Cuisine
Belgian food preparations are vivid with the inclusion of spices, meats particularly game meats, fresh vegetables and herbs. The spice range includes ginger, cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg and peppercorns. Game meats mostly of birds, fish, sausages, ham and mussels are the fancied meats of the country. Fresh vegetables particularly potato are highly valued by the Belgians. Fresh herbs used in Belgian food include tarragon, thyme, chervil, chives and parsley. Chocolate is also a popular ingredient across Belgium.
Traditional Belgian Food
- Fries, deep-fried potatoes or French fries are amongst the popular and top quality Belgian food, the creation of which is duly claimed by the Belgians. They are known in Dutch as Frieten and in French as Frites.
- Konijn in geuze or lapin à la gueuze or rabbit in geuze refers to a sour beer made through instant fermentation native to the region adjacent to Brussels.
- Vlaamse stoofkarbonaden refers to a beef stew of Flemish tradition resembling the French Beef Bourguignon that is made using beer in place of red wine.
- Tomate-crevette refers to a snack or appetizer made with shrimps dipped in mayonnaise and stuffed inside the hollow of a raw tomato.
- The Belgian beer is an outstanding offering from Belgian cuisine making Belgium, the largest producer of beer in the world. Their varied versatile presence makes them pair well with most foods. There is a beer to pair with almost any food, for instance seafood and fish pairing of Belgian beer is the Wheat beer variety.