I think, the whole world believe that waffle is the Belgian national food, well….. at least the most popular snack in Belgium. That’s why, the tour-bus people would ride the bus from Amterdam to Paris, trough Brussels. So they can stop by for a few hours to make photo of pee-pee boy (Manneken Pis) and eat Belgian waffle. Therefore, they can call themselves officially visiting Belgium!
The facts is, for Belgian, waffle is nothing to do with their identity. Why?
1# They would eat waffle like…….. once a year??
2# Waffle seller are not always available in their neighborhood. Apparently, waffle seller are only exist in touristic area. I guess it is obvious, waffle is more a tourist food, than Belgian food
3# Even most Belgian have no idea about that famous “Belgian waffle”
So, what is more Belgian than waffle? Let me introduce you, Belgian Frites!! Literary means Belgian fries. The most popular one is pommes frites, aka french fries. But they insist it is not french fries, cos they cut the potato bigger, unlike the itsy-bitsy-skinny french fries. Pommes frites also fresh cut and fried, while french fries mostly frozen. They also provide many kind of dipping sauce!
Belgian frites stalls exist everywhere, not just in touristic area. In the small city or even village, there would be at least 2 stalls selling frites. And Belgian eat them a lot as snack.
OK……, Belgian waffle is over-glamorized by tourist industry. But….. it is not overated, at least not for me. Belgian waffle are different compare to other waffle cos they are using dough instead of batter to make it. So, yes, they are special, and worth try.
Another thing that is really Belgian is beer. First of all, in Belgium, there are many kinds of beers. There are abbey beers, sour beers, lagers, pilsner beers and ……. i don’t know, i guess there would be more.
When talking about beer, to be honest, most of us would think about Germany. They have biggest-craziest beer festival, named October fest, they must be that beer country! The fact is, Belgium also known as beer country. Unlike Germany who have their beer brewed in big brewery, Belgium beer is more like craftsmanship. There are lots of small brewery in Belgium.
Belgian people think that Heineken taste like pee, sorry…….
Beer culture in Belgium is different compare to Germany, and nothing like October fest. Belgian love to drink beer, in “proper” amount, they love to taste them properly, not just drink a lot and pass out. They also love to experimenting with their brewery, such as adding fruit into the process. In the bar or cafe, they serve certain beer in certain glass! Some beer could share the same glass, but mostly each beer have their own glass. Yes….. As you can imagine, this means that each bar has upwards of 70 types of glasses, in all different shapes and sizes. I have no idea how they store those.
They called it the right beer in the right glass to preserve the taste. I called it beer-totality, hahaha!
I would say, tourist have to taste Belgian beer properly, so they can call themselves “officially visiting Belgium”.