When one thinks of Belgium, the foods that come to mind are fries, waffles, and – of course – chocolate. Everyone in my major had the opportunity to travel to Brussels, where we visited the different branches of the European Union and learned about the challenges facing the institution in the coming decade. While being chauffeured to each site, all the students took the opportunity to eat as many local delicacies as we could afford. Hey, who knows when we will be back?
The fries and waffles at each vendor tasted to same, so my suggestion would be to just find the cheapest place. An order of fries can range from three to four euros (ask for extra sauce – you’ll need it), and the cheapest waffle that we found sold for one euro for plain. I highly recommend trying at least one plain waffle. One may be tempted to immediately order the ones with toppings; however, the plain, crispy yet soft waffle coated with powdered sugar just melts in your mouth.
Chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries, and bananas are common toppings found at all stores. And no matter where you go, vendors certainly don’t skip on the whipped cream or chocolate sauce, both usually made from scratch. The chocolate and whipped cream waffle cost me 2 euros while the more elaborate waffles cost my friends 3 or 3.50 euros each.
Belgium chocolate is renowned worldwide, mainly because the government places strict regulations on the ingredients chocolatiers can use. This ensures that the quality of the chocolate remains of a high caliber. Our guide brought us to Leonidas chocolates, which also has locations in other countries. My friend and I split a box of a mixed assortment, which we selected ourselves. The shop employees were helpful and patient enough to put up with our indecisiveness. In truth, I can’t remember the exact names of the chocolates we selected, but we had a mix of caramel, fruit, and cream-filled.
The chocolates were delicious, and you could tell right away that they taste much better than any chocolate you may usually buy on a whim while checking out at the grocery store. But while they were all creamily delicious, most of the chocolates also all tasted the same. Some of the chocolates with fruity fillings held distinct flavors, but the rest all tasted of the same hazelnut flavor. Perhaps we simply picked wrong, but the Leonidas employee did reassure us when we were choosing the chocolates that the ones who had selected were all different. If I ever do go back to Brussels, I would love to try Elisabeth Chocolates.
I only had one proper meal in Brussels, a school paid-for dinner, but the rest of the time I lived off waffles and fries. They were just too addicting! I would, however, go on to regret all the grease and sugar consumed on the train back to London.