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Belgian food plays an important part in Belgian culture.
Everyone know about the famous Belgian waffles but did you also know that Belgium has one of the highest densities of Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, although many Belgians' top favourite foods are also home-cooked comfort dishes and street-vendor snack foods.
The Brussels waffle is rectangular, golden brown on the outside, dusted with powdered/icing sugar and then sometimes covered with syrup, slices of fruit, chocolate spread and whipped cream – all of which is deemed a mite inauthentic by waffle connoisseurs!
The denser textured Liege waffle is square and has burnt sugar on the outside.
Most dishes are based around meat or fish, with seafood playing an important role in Belgian cuisine.
In 2017, even Ostend's oysters, referred to as 'Ostendaises', were granted Flemish protected regional status; grown in the Spuikom, just off the shoreline, it's the only approved site in Flanders for oyster-growing On the sweet side, top Belgian desserts are often rich pastries or decadent chocolates.
Photo credit: Francisco Antunes (Belgiam beef and beer stew), Merle ja joonas (Sole meunière), Kimberly Verdeman (Ham and endiive gratin), Takeaway (Filet Americain on rye, Paling in't groen), (WT-shared) Jpatokal at wts wikivoyage (Moules frites), Simon Aughton (Stoemp), Yumi Kimura (Gentse waterzooi), Tobin (Belgian meatballs).
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Most include beef, a rich dark beer, bread, onions, salt, pepper, herbs (like bay and thyme) and spices.
Eat it on a grey winter's evening with bacon, sausage, beef or some Paling in't groen This traditional Flemish dish can be translated as ‘eels in the green' and that's exactly what it is: eels in a very, very green sauce.
Fishermen used to catch the eels in the river Scheldt, between Dendermonde and Antwerp, and then prepared the dish with whatever fresh herbs they found along the river banks.
Almost everything, including desserts, is usually washed down with wine or the national drink beer.
Here we list 10 top Belgian foods you have to try, as well as recipes so you can incorporate a touch of Belgian food to your weekly menu – some of the top Belgian dishes are easier to make than you think.