Recently, I have this feeling that Hollywood has discovered Belgium. Colin Farrell frequently called Bruges a shithole in the movie “In Bruges”, Piper Kerman travelled to Brussels with her illegal drug money in “Orange is the New Black” and for some reason our country gets name dropped more often. Has the world only just discovered us? Because we’ve been here for quite a while now …
The Romans called us the bravest of all Gauls. The Germans broke their teeth on our resistance in both World Wars. We broke the world record in having the longest formation of a government ever. Yes, we are proud to be stubborn little bastards. But for some reason, we are also very timid in promoting our country. In being proud of our heritage. In showing off what we’ve got. So maybe that’s why we get overseen in travel guides? Maybe that’s why people ponder about Brussels when they say they’ve been to Belgium once.
Well let me tell you this: Belgium is an explosion of senses! Period. Don’t believe? Well you will once I am done promoting all we have to offer in this blog. And I’ll be sporting this shirt whilst I do so:
Yes, Belgium rocks. Let’s get things started shall we?
Belgium has the best music scene. Forget about The Beatles and The Stones for a while. Belgium is where New Beat was invented. Technotronic anyone? We have epic bands like dEUS and Soulwax. Stromae made the world dance with his catchy singles. Jacques Brel, Absynthe Minded, The Black Box Revelation, Goose, Hooverphonic, Netsky, Triggerfinger, the list goes on and on and on. The biggest bands come to Belgium to perform in our Sportpaleis. And Belgium is the home of the best dance festival in the world – Tomorrowland. And that is not my opinion – there was actually a poll, votes were cast. It’s the best dance festival.
Belgium has the best beer. Don’t believe me? Well, Michael Jackson says so. You can read all about it on his website: http://www.beerhunter.com/index.html I even found this entire website dedicated to Belgian beer, so you can find all tastes and flavors here: http://belgium.beertourism.com You could do an entire beer pelgrimage if you want to. From the light ales like Stella, Maes and Jupiler to the heavy beers like Duvel and Delirium Tremens (yes, that is an actual beer and there is an actual pink elephant on the label). People even have to make reservations to buy just one case of the world renowned Westfleteren. Thirsty yet? 🙂
Belgium has the best food. Forget about France’s Michelin star chefs. Forget about Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay. The food my grandma made on a daily basis was packed with flavors. I see more and more Michelin chefs in Belgium start up smaller brasseries where they serve up their version of grandma’s dishes. And don’t get me started about our Belgium chocolate. We elevate our chocolate making to an art-like level and our chocolatiers can become an equivalent of rock stars. All hail to Pierre Marcolini and Dominique Persoone! But back to the food. Of course I’ll be submitting a lot of recipes during this blog and I will also spend extra attention to classical Belgian dishes. I’ll maybe even teach you how to make the perfect French fries if you’re good. Which should have been called Belgian fries. But let’s not dwell on that capital mistake.
So, explosion of the senses. I was right, right? I’ll take you on tours to Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, maybe even Brussels if I warm up to the place. But I will also show you places in West-Flanders, off the beaten track, because that’s where my heart lies at the moment. Get ready to get to know the Queen of the Belgian seaside resorts, Ostend. Well, from a foodie point of view that is. Because I love to eat and travel around. Hope you’ll join me on this ride.