French Fries . . . apparently they are not French at all! Despite the name, fries actually originated in Belgium, or at least that’s what all our Belgian friends told us. Also, it is also acceptable to have “frites” as your dinner in Belgium. Granted, no one is trying to claim this is at all a healthy dinner, but nevertheless there was a long line of people waiting for their frites dinner from a vendor on our second night in Brussels.
I am also a huge fan of the Belgian practice of eating mayonnaise with fries. Yes, ketchup is wonderful, but it’s also quite sweet. Mayo gives you a nice creamy dip for your delicious bites of fried goodness. I actually opted for tartar sauce with these fries because I like that extra tanginess.
What better to wash down a meal of fries than a glass of Belgian beer. One of my favorite parts of my Belgian beer experience was that each beer has it’s own specific glass that it is meant to be drank from. Some say the taste of the beer is affected by the shape of the glass even.
This one here is La Chouffe, which is described as “an unfiltered blond beer which is refermented both in the bottle and in barrels. It is pleasantly fruity, spiced with coriander and tinged with hops.” I was quite happy with it, and if only I had had a bigger purse this glass might have come home with me.
During the day in Brussels, we also visited Cantillon Brewery – a family-run brewery that began in 1900 and still continues to exist today. They only brew lambic beers, which are spontaneously fermented by wild yeast. Because they use open vats for fermentation, they can only brew in the winter when there are no bugs.
As cool as it was to tour the brewery and appreciate the family history, we were not the biggest fans of the beer. Compared to most beers, the two lambic beers we sampled were not carbonated and tasted somewhere between wine and beer. Apparently, this beer is closer to what people use to drink in the old days, almost more than water.
Although I may not choose to buy a lambic beer in the future, it was fun to try something new and have a new experience with beer and breweries.
Of course, we had to have more waffles! At most street vendors you find so many options for waffle toppings, including bananas, strawberries, nuts, cream, and of course chocolate and nutella.
Although I really want to say you can never have too much nutella . . . this may have just pushed the limit on that belief. Regardless of the fact that my waffle almost drowned in delicious chocolate hazelnut spread, it was still so good – maybe almost sickly sweet too good – and yes, I ate it all.