World-famous specialties from Flanders

waffle ©Filip Van Belleghem
Name a typical Belgian dish. Fries? Bingo! And now think ‘sweet’ … A Belgian or Brussels waffle served warm and dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Or try the tradionally baked speculaas. A thin, very crunchy, browned Belgian pastry. Anyway … every sweet tooth comes home to Flanders.

Belgian waffles

Belgian waffles, also known as Brussels waffles, are prepared with a yeast-leavened batter. It is generally, but not always, lighter, thicker, and crispier and has larger pockets compared to other waffle varieties. They are easy to differentiate from Luikse (Liège) Waffles by their rectangular sides.  

Belgian waffles were invented in Ghent in 1839. They were introduced to America by restaurateur Maurice Vermersch, who sold his Belgian waffle under the name ‘Bel-Gem Waffles’ at New York’s 1964 World’s Fair.  

In Belgium, most waffles are served warm by street vendors and dusted with confectioner’s sugar though in tourist areas they might be topped with whipped cream, soft fruit or chocolate spread (although a practice considered ‘unauthentic’ by some local connoisseurs).



Speculaas pieces

Speculaas (or is it speculoos as the Larousse Gastronomique mentioned in 1934?) is a Belgian pastry. Thin, very crunchy, slightly browned and, most significantly, with some image or figure (often from the traditional stories about St. Nicholas) stamped on the front side before baking; the back is flat.

The Lotus brand is one of the most popular. You can also find them covered in chocolate … a real Belgian treat! And then there is La Maison Dandoy. This cookie/biscuit shop offers the cookie freshly baked with a more earthy homemade flavour.

Culinary treats and Belgian Beer

Love of food and flavour is in a Fleming’s blood, and good taste is rooted in our DNA. In Flanders, food lovers taste flavors and dishes they can't find anywhere else, thanks to the variety in local products. We are living the good life.

Belgian endives