Jan 18, 2013 0
On vacation, other than relaxing, one of the things that I am most excited about is the food. Tasting it, smelling it, seeing it… I just love exploring how other cultures eat! Even if I’ve been there before, there’s still something new to try.
Before diving into our Middle Eastern Cruise with my parents, I’m pausing to do a quick post about the food we ate in Belgium.
Firstly, I had a dynamite hot chocolate the day we traveled to the edge of three countries and went to the Christmas Market. This hot chocolate was insanely delicious, and it was accompanied by the best cookies in the world: speculoos cookies. SO GOOD. Europeans really know how to do up a hot chocolate.
Then there were the desserts we had at Peter’s great Aunt and Uncle’s home: fruit-stuffed waffles and rice pie. Both of these are Verviers specialities. Peter’s mum has attempted to make the rice pie numerous times, and she says that although she’s gotten close she’s never been able to replicate it properly. She said that it has something to do with the water in Verviers. Crazy, right? I love how food can be so specific to regions – it’s amazing!! In any case, if my mother-in-law can’t make this, then I’m not even going to attempt it, because she’s pretty much a genius when it comes to that kind of stuff (and no, I’m not sucking up, because I don’t think she even reads my blog, haha!).
Okay, let’s talk German Christmas Market food. This is slightly “cheating” because the Market was in Germany…but hopefully you’ll let that go. Let me just say this: it smells incredible at the market. You can hear food sizzling and simmering all around you! It was actually super challenging to know what to eat. There were traditional items like sausage, sauerkraut, etc., and tons of non-traditional items like pizza, pasta… We opted to have potato latkes (THE BEST I’ve ever had), and sauerkraut. Now, we don’t eat pork, which is pretty much a sin in Germany, so finding sauerkraut without the pork sausages was a challenge. To the point where although Peter tried to get only sauerkraut, it didn’t happen. So we left them on the side and his dad at them! The sauerkraut was so unique – so fresh, and it had a curry vibe to it. I really loved it!
We didn’t eat any of these homemade cookies this man was making, but it was definitely neat to watch him make them:
Backing up a bit, let’s chat about some of the homemade eats we had. Peter’s mum and dad went ALL out making Peter’s favourites and introducing us to new foods they’ve started to enjoy since moving to Belgium. One of those things was Chervil soup. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’d never heard of Chervil before. Apparently it’s a green herb, and it’s common in Europe, but it hasn’t been anywhere else I’ve been. The soup is a veggie soup along with meatballs. It’s super yummy! In fact, we purchased some powdered packets of it to bring back. Of course, it will be nowhere near close to what we had made fresh by Peter’s dad, but c’est la vie.
Also, can I tell you how much I love lunches at Peter’s parents’ house? It’s incredibly European and I love it. Cheeses, crackers, bread, jams, pates, etc…so perfect for the lunchtime nibbler that I am!! Such a treat every time we visit. And this was especially nice because they got some extras since it was Christmas, and of course, because European dairy aisles are GINORMOUS (no joke – I went to many grocery stores in Belgium and the dairy aisleS are insane – in the most amazing way).
Last but not least, it wouldn’t be a trip to Europe without a stop in a Patisserie! I love how they’re all displayed and each one looks absolutely perfect. They’re almost too beautiful to eat!
Of course we ate way more than just what I’m telling you, but I thought I’d just hi-light some of the food for you to get a taste of what we ate while we were away!