If there’s one thing that brings Flemish and Walloons together, it’s dessert. Belgium marks the glorious border between Dutch and French inspired desserts making it a dream destination for the traveler with a serious sweet tooth (like me).
Of course, the country is synonymous with awesome waffles. Even bad waffles here are good by non-Belgian standards. There are as many topping options as there are recipes, so you will have to eat MANY, MANY waffles just to be sure that you don’t miss anything important. Bruges is great for waffle hunting. Interestingly, I walked by an endless supply of fancy restaurants with stunning waffles, but the waffle above at a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant topped with sour cherries and mounds of ice cream stopped me in my tracks. Resistance was futile.
But it doesn’t stop there, I almost cried when I ate my first chocolate moelleux here in Belgium. How could I have gone 42 years without ever having eaten this dessert? How could I have been so deprived? The moment you break into the thin crust and discover the creamy melted chocolate greatness within, your life will never be the same. (Thank you Florie in Mechelen for suggesting it.) Keep your eyes peeled for chocolate moelleux in nicer restaurants across the country.
Everywhere you look, amazing desserts. For anthropological purposes, I was forced to try them all. Crème Brûlée in Antwerp. Black and white chocolate mousse in Mechelen. Waffles in Bruges. Even a simple order of ice cream seemed superior to ice cream in other countries.
Not enough? The candy stores are simply mind-boggling. They’re filled with sugary treasures including the best nougat this side of Malta, chocolate-covered candied fruits, home-made caramels, and the traditional purple candies known in Flemish as “noses.”
Still not enough? Hit the bakeries to discover donuts, Danishes, cookies, cakes, tarts, gingerbread… are you sweet-sick yet?
And chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. I already did a post on the Chocolate Line in Antwerp and Bruges, but don’t think you have to limit your options to a single shop. To be able to honestly and fairly discuss chocolate on the blog, I felt it was essential to do “research” at chocolatier after chocolatier. I am forced to report that I have been unable to find a single bad piece of chocolate in the entire country. Always the ever-vigilant blogger, I hope to return to Belgium in the near future to resume my search.