Belgium – the homeland of saxophone, Smurfs and Tintin, fabulous laces, Liege and Brussels waffles, fragrant chocolate and special tasting beer.
Belgian culture – is a mixture of the Flemish, French and German cultures, and amazing food is one of the most important parts of the Belgian culture.
Belgium is twice smaller than Lithuania but its population is three times bigger?
French fries were invented not by the French but by the Belgians?
In 1846, a Belgian man Adolf Sax invented the saxophone? Belgian music is a combination of different music styles and the saxophone music.
Comic books are a very important part of the 20th century Belgian culture? Belgian comic books make their own sub-group throughout the history of the European comic books. Tintin, Smurfs, Mortimer – famous characters of the Belgian comic books – are still alive and admired by many fans of the comic books.
Since the middle ages, Belgians have been famous for their tapestry and upholstery?
The Belgians are the nation which reads the biggest number of newspapers and drinks the biggest amount of Port Wine in the world?
Half of the glass used in the buildings in the centre of Singapore is from Belgium?
Belgium has the highest percentage of people who have a dog or a cat at their home?
Due to constant rain and rigor, raincoats and umbrellas are jokingly called Belgian national clothing?
Belgian cuisine has been developing under the influence of very different traditions. In the old times, here was a mixture of the Celtic and Roman cuisine traditions, which was supplemented by the Germanic people and later affected by the Burgundian, Spanish, Austrian and French cuisine traditions. Because of permanent disunity into separate feudal nations, Belgium is notable for its regional variety. Each region has its own types of cheese and beer, its own traditional cookies. Quite often the name of a dish has a link to a geographical region. The most important regional cuisine traditions are the Flemish (northwest Belgium), brabantian (central Belgium), Liege (eastern Belgium), Ardennian (southeast Belgium) and some others.
Belgium is considered the country of gourmets. Great food and special-tasting beer is an important part of the Belgian culture. It is said that Belgian food is a combination of French quality and German sizes of portions. Belgium has very rich beer traditions. Beer was first made by monks trappists in the middle ages. Nowadays, beer made in monasteries is considered to be the best and the most prestigious. Currently, there are 125 beer factories in Belgium, which brew 800 types of beer. Beer is poured into specific bottles and has specific mugs. The variety of hot dishes is huge. In the process of preparing food, different types of meat and fish are used; but unlike in southern regions, beer is used for stewing, not wine. In seaside regions, fish and mollusks are popular. The national Belgian dish is moules frites – fried potatoes with fresh mussels, which are served in many different ways. It is a real delicacy, which is to be enjoyed after putting all of the worries away.
Belgium has its own fast food tradition and is proud of french fries (frites/frieten), which are popular all over the world. Belgian fast food is served in special restaurants, which are called friterie/fritkot. In addition to french fries, they serve other fast food dishes: cutlets, sausages, skewers, quenelle. Also, they have Belgian sandwiches (Mitraillette), which consist of bread cut in half, meat and french fries, with topping sauce.
The Belgians are real experts at preparing waffles. They are the most important Belgian desserts with a long history. There are two types of waffles. Liege waffles are hard, round and have pieces of caramel inside. Brussels waffles are soft and fluffy, served warm, with whipped cream and fruit. Belgian chocolate is also famous. The tradition of drinking cacao came here in the 16th century, but only in the middle of the 19th century chocolate in Belgium started to be used as a dessert, not as medicine. While developing the industry of sweet chocolate, candies with filling (chocolate praline) were invented. You won’t find such masterpieces of nuts, caramel and chocolate elsewhere but in Belgian confectioneries.