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Figuring out How to Eat in Belgium: Street Food in Bruges

BY LOUIS ALCORN

After leaving Brussels on the train, a brief hour passed and we arrived in the small Belgian town of Bruges. Each house, storefront, restaurant, and exterior building featured a typical gable roof, but all featured false fronts that resembled a cascaded staircase. I’m not too sure exactly the history behind the Bruges façade, but it made for quite the picturesque storybook town as a backdrop for our tour of famous Belgian street foods.

Fries (Freits): Our morning of adventures started out at the Friet Museum or Fry Museum (not French fries, Belgian Fries). With our admission to the museum we learned quite a bit about the history of fried potatoes. Potatoes originated in Peru where farmers used various natural freeze farming practices to preserve the potatoes for the winter months. After the plant was imported back to Europe via Spanish conquistadors, it is said that the Belgians came up with the idea of fried potatoes. During the winter, the water would freeze over preventing fisherman from catching fish to fry. They instead cut potatoes and used them as a substitute of fish, in turn, pan-frying them to make the first fries.

Upon other things, we also learned that raw potatoes contain about 40% of our daily Vitamin C content, zero fat, and that the average serving of Belgian fries contains about the same caloric and fat content as a batch of fresh scrambled eggs. Of course, at the end of our learning process, we had to taste test the creations, and indulged in some authentic Belgian fries in the Museum’s own fry café.

Belgian Waffles: After a decent amount of wandering in search of lunch, we quickly realized that unlike Spain and much of France, people don’t eat lunch between the hours of 2 and 4 PM in Belgium. Even restaurants sporting signs reading “Non-stop kitchen” were closed for food at this time. In turn, we decided to investigate the legendary Belgian Waffle. At the waffle shop, we learned that there are two types of waffles in Belgium. In Bruges, they sell waffles made of dough that when pressed create a rather rounded shape and provide for a softer, more “melt-in-your-mouth” taste. In Brussels, Belgium waffles are made with a liquid batter and served in the typical square/rectangular shape. Although I haven’t tried an authentic Belgian waffle yet, it’s going to have to be pretty impressive to rival the Bruges edition, which I ordered smothered in bananas and melted white chocolate.

Afternoon Tea: Feeling a bit tired from traipsing around the city in search of closed restaurants, we decided to post up in a local tearoom where we relaxed and enjoyed some coffee and tea while recollecting our thoughts. Such is a customary afternoon activity of the local populace.

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Categories: Foodies

Author:Jetset Times

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