Belgium is a country that boasts many Michelin-starred restaurants and it is sometimes said that Belgian food is served in the quantity of German cuisine but with the quality of French cuisine.
It’s a country where home cooks ̶ and everyone, it seems, is a great home cook ̶ spend copious amounts of time thinking about, shopping for, preparing, discussing, and celebrating food. With its hearty influences from Germany and Holland, herbs straight out of a medieval garden, and condiments and spices from the height of Flemish culture, Belgian cuisine is elegant comfort food at its best ̶ slow-cooked, honest and satisfying, perfect for a Sunday lunch, a dinner party, or a casual family gathering.
Here in Ruth Van Waerebeek’s wonderful compendium of 250 delicious recipes, is the best of Belgian cuisine. It is a cuisine that traditionally prizes regional and seasonal ingredients and there are dishes in this comprehensive collection using all the ingredients synonymous with the country: endives, mussels, herrings, white asparagus, Brussels sprouts, mustard, beer and chocolate. There are national dishes such as waterzooi, moules frites, hutsepot, stoemp and of course waffles. For the adventurous cook there is much to explore in this varied and perhaps unfamiliar cuisine.
As the Belgians say, since everybody has to eat three times a day, why not make a feast of every meal?
‘Ruth Van Waerebeek’s take on the cooking of her homeland is a cracker. This is not refined cooking but it’s honest and delicious…This is a nation that likes its tuck: it shows.’
‘Some people have dared to suggest that Belgium isn’t the most exciting country around – well, they obviously haven’t tasted their food!’
The Weekly News