Granted, we are born with a very present sweet tooth, which shows in our typical sweets and pastries. But don’t let that spoil the fun! Put your diet aside, enjoy some fine Belgian meals and take some of our regional specialities back home to share with your friends! Or to eat them yourself, nibbling on the couch, while nobody knows… That’s what I would do!
There is no chocolate thing that is more Belgian than the praline. Invented by the Neuhaus family in Brussels around 1915, pralines are now on the forefront of our chocolate business.
Found in many stores, it is a popular gift for Belgians to accompany birthday gifts, thank somebody for their help or to make up with your girlfriend after an argument!
Known around Flanders as neuzeke, which translate to “little nose” due to its shape, the cuberdon is a sugar cone filled with raspberry syrup. Their slightly hard outside makes you bite through them before unveiling the lovely thick syrup inside.
Cuberdons are found all around Belgium but especially Gent (where they are sold on the streets) and Bruges have many vendors.
Being hard to keep for long, and thus difficult to export, cuberdons are a true Belgian product! Don’t worry about its conservation time though, as they are so addictive they will probably not make it home with you anyway!
3. Jules Destrooper biscuits
The Destrooper biscuits are truly a one-of-a-kind range of delicious cookies. Using traditional recipes since the early 1800’s, this guarantees 100% natural ingredients with no added artificial colouring, flavouring or preservatives.
A wide range of premium biscuits can be found in any large supermarket around Belgium, however the small butter waffle is what they are mainly known for.
If you are still in doubt: Jules Destrooper has been a purveyor to the Court for many years! Whatever the King approves, must be good, right?
4. Sirop de Liège
Used primarily as a spread on a slice of bread, this delicious sweet pear syrup is also used in numerous dishes such as pancakes, waffles and Liège meat balls.
The syrup is best to be defined as a sort of jam that mainly consists of apple and pear juices.
However the syrup originates around the Liège area, it is popular all along Belgium! The Meurens brand is most popular and can be bought in many supermarkets.
5. Chocolate truffles
If you want something different than our pralines to take back home, try some Belgian chocolate truffles!
Created from a centre of butter and chocolate praline and coated in chocolate flakes, these may not look too different from the ones you might be familiar with. However, most Belgian chocolatiers hand-make these to perfection, using only the finest Belgian chocolate.
These are just perfect to take home and to share with… Wait, did I say share?
Traditionally produced by the seaside by fishermen’s wives to provide some additional energy when out on the sea. Today the babbelutes are still popular along the western part of Belgium.
These butter confections are also known as babbelaars – referring to the Dutch word for “chatting” – something that is very hard to do with a sticky babbelute in your mouth!
The peperkoek has a rich history dating back to Medieval times where every city had its own version of the gingerbread-like confection. The city’s bakery guild defined what ingredients could be used, who could bake them and in what shape!
Nowadays, peperkoek is mostly industrially prepared due to its long and complicated baking process. Its recipe now consists a mix of honey and spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg!
What is your favourite Belgian food delight?