I am my father's son

by Jon Sullivan - 2020-01-16

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When my dad would visit San Diego, from the foodie wasteland of Kalispell, one of the cuisines he would look for was Belgian.

At the time I didn't even know that Belgium had a real cuisine beyond cheese and beer. But with the Belgium beer tour coming up in a few months I've been doing lots of research. And it turns out I was an idiot. And I'm rather looking forward to discovering all the stuff he obviously fell in love with 60 years ago when he served in the army after WWII.

So there are the obvious ones I somehow forgot about, like waffles and chocolate. But there a ton more I now can't wait to try :

  • Moules-frites : mussels steamed with onions and celery served with fries. The recipe has often been referred to as the country's national dish. Very interested in how they stack up to Galway's.
  • Belgian fries : The original. It is argued that American soldiers brought these back as French fries rather than Belgian fries because borders are confusing when Nazis are shooting at you. This ignores the question of whether it's a good idea to be eating fries during a firefight.
  • Chocolate : Strict regulations prevent them from making chocolate with crap in it. So I may end up tasting real chocolate for the first time.
  • Croquettes : I'm a big fan of breaded and fried balls of meat and sauce. The shrimp ones sound delightful. So odd we don't do that more in the US.
  • Rabbit stew : Apparently a favorite memory of my dad's. Rabbit stewed in sour beer sounds inedible. But I must try some.
  • Vol-au-vent : Puff pastry filled with chicken, mushrooms, small meatballs and a sauce. Could this be the origin of our American abomination, soup in a bread bowl?
  • Meatballs : Apparently a big deal in Belgium. And with us being walking distance from a restaurant specializing in meatballs called "Balls and Glory"......
  • Flemish stew : "Beef slowly simmered in Belgian beer until it melts in your mouth. The sauce is thickened with a few slabs of bread slathered in mustard, a bit of onion, and some seasoning." That sort of sounds like dinner back on the farm.
  • Eels : Fine... I'll try some.....

And there will be beer. And cheese. And much rejoicing.

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