Belgium’s Local Cuisine Influenced by Neighboring Countries, but Original
From our home base in the Mosel River area of Germany, we were a short drive on the Autobahn from Belgium. We spent several days exploring the small country and sampling their wonderful local cuisine.
Mapping the Day
Since Belgium is surrounded by strong culinary influences of France, Germany and The Netherlands, Belgian cuisine is original and intriguing. Some say that it can be described as having the fine qualities of French cuisine in German-sized portions. During our several days visiting there, we tried many typically Belgian productions, including mussels and French fries, pate, chocolate and beer.
On the day we drove to Tongeren and walked many streets of the flea market, we were ready for a nice meal and Belgian beer at lunchtime. In the center of town is De Kroon, a tavern and small restaurant. We sat at a small table and ordered several beers: Tripel Karmeliet, Trappist Achel and Chimay. My son informed us that Belgian beer is known as ”the best beer in the world”. KO and I were educated, impressed and so pleased to learn about Belgian beer. And it is truly some of the best we have had in our lives.
View from the Table
The special of the day at De Kroon was the Nicoise Salad, so I decided to go with light fare with my beer. Delicate lettuces were topped with haricots vert, sundried tomatoes in olive oil, fresh tomatoes, olives, sardines, chopped onions, parmesan cheese chips and a vinaigrette. It was a lovely, French-inspired Belgian lunch. Delicious.
Now that we are home, we have experimented with the Nicoise salad with a local flair for lunch. Here’s a West Coast version of the French classic with Blackened Salmon. Fresh salmon is readily available in California, often caught in the Pacific Northwest. Use a fresh fish available in your area and concoct a local version of your own.
West Coast Nicoise Salad