Belgian Frites

Belgian Beer

Belgian Chocolates

Belgian Coffee

This is Belgium

Let's have some fun ....
Why be serious all the time?
All the pressure, the stress...
Let's sit down and relax.

Let's have a holiday !
Let's pretend it's Sunday, and that we don't have to work today....

Yeah, I know, this is Belgium.
*They* (whoever these mysterious 'they' are) CALL it a Sunday....
But the sun ain't shining !
Do we complain about this? Of course we do.
Do we let it get to us? Of course we don't.
Let's re-baptise 'Sunday' into 'Rainday' and then forget about the weather.

Plenty of fun to be had indoors.

'What fun?' Do you ask.

Well, food and drink of course!

THAT's what Belgium is famous for !
Have you never read the stories about the Romans invading Belgium?
The Belgians were always eating and drinking.
Romans or no Romans...

That habit didn't change over the centuries.
We're still at it !

So what do we Belgians eat?

FRITES of course. Fries, chips, friet, patates-frites.
What ? You thought the French invented frites?
Frites are indeed often called French fries...
But don't forget part of Belgium is French-speaking.

At the time we invented the frites, the aristocracy spoke only French...

Whatever place you visit in Belgium, you'll find frietkoten by the roadside...
on the marketsquares... near the railway stations...

'What is a frietkot' You ask? Hey, that shows you've never been here!
For the uninitiated : a frietkot is a place (kot) where they sell frites.

Also called a 'frituur' in Flemish,
'friture' in French.

You'll still find some built as a wooden structure, like a cabin.
With a queue of people ordering their frites...

Beautiful tasty
crispy golden-yellow frites.
With or without mayonaise or other sauces.
And please don't put ketchup on frites ! Your frites just won't taste right !

Of course we have various wonderful restaurants too.

And... we still use our kitchens for cooking...
Forget about defrosting TV-dinners. The majority of people here don't.
We start off with the raw ingredients and actually prepare food still...
May sound hopelessly old-fashioned,
but it's far more healthy, I assure you!
And far tastier too !
No deep-frozen frites for me.

The real thing - yep... peel potatoes, slice them,
deep-fry them once at 150 degrees Centigrade for between 4 and 5 minutes
(depends on the type of potato),
then a second time - very shortly, let's say half a minute or less - at 190 degrees.
You'll never buy deep frozen fries again!

And what do we drink with our frites?
Silly question... Belgian Beer, what else!
Hundreds of small breweries still make beer in the traditional fashion.

Of course we have quite a few large breweries...
These make mostly Pils (Lager), a light beer.

So how come some Belgians are still fat, if we cook proper meals, you ask?

Because we eat too many chocolates of course.

The ideal life. Sitting on the couch, a cup of Belgian coffee in one hand...

A praline in the other hand.

A praline, by the way, is a filled chocolate.

And then we have another praline,

and another,

and another...

Until the box is empty!

Mind you, there are some people who apparently manage to put the pralines
away without finishing the whole box.
Now those must have quite a lot of will power.
I definitely couldn't do it!

We eat other types of dessert too...

And even if we don't grow our own coffee, it's roasted right here.
Until it tastes exactly right.

Different brands and blends to suit all tastes.

You drink instant coffee you say? Oh no, don't even think about it!
The real thing, please. Use a percolator and grind your coffee just before using it for the best results !

So forget all your troubles, come to Belgium.
Eat a bag of frites, drink some beer with us,
then come and join us for our coffee-and-chocolates ritual.

You won't regret it!


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