Belgium: Food And Sports Essay

2233 words - 9 pages

“The food of Belgium is now acknowledged as among the very best in Europe, and many of its restaurants have earned all kinds of the most respected international garlands and awards” (Mason 37). When people think of Belgium, they tend to first think of waffles, chocolate, French fries, and beer. Belgium has some of the finest quality of these foods in the world. In fact, the Belgians invented the French fry, so it’s only natural they have the best. Chocolate was invented in Mesoamerica, but Belgian chocolates are renowned as the best, to the point that many “foreign chocolate makers often buy their raw materials from Belgium” (Mason 39). Being so close to France, a country known for its cuisine, Belgian food is essentially French, but chefs do have their own touches. Even the Flemish, who argue with the Wallons over anything, concede to the fact that French is the language of food. Germany also influences Belgian cooking. The saying goes that Belgians serve French food in German-sized portions. Many of the spices used in their cooking is similar to what the French use, as well as what Americans use: thyme, saffron, paprika, mint, garlic, nutmeg, parsley, chives, bay leaf, oregano, mustard, ginger, cayenne, and the list goes on (“Top” 1). Fruits and vegetables eaten in Belgium are particularly similar to what Americans tend to eat. Potatoes, onions, and carrots are the most popular vegetables in Belgium; apples are the most popular fruit (Economic 5). Being so small of a country, there really are no regional variations. Each restaurant or family may have its own recipe or style, but as a whole, the country’s cooking is the same. A liter of milk in Belgium costs about $1.21, while in the Jacksonville, it costs about $1.02. A dozen eggs in Belgium is $2.96; in Jacksonville, $2.27. A loaf of bread in Belgium is $2.19; in Jacksonville, $2.36 (Numbeo). Belgium has a food pyramid very similar to that of the United States’. But the United States has six categories while Belgium has eight. The United States categories are as followed from least to greatest: oils, meat and beans, fruit, vegetables, milk, and grains. Belgium’s food pyramid, as seen to the left, recommends at the top of the pyramid that “occasionals,” foods one should only snack on every once in a while. Below the top are the foods that should be a part of the daily diet, including: fatty substances, meat, dairy products, fruit, vegetables, breads, and a large level of water and other liquids. Both countries’ food pyramids also include exercise. In the United States’ food pyramid, a figure is seen walking up the side of the pyramid. In Belgium’s diagram, there is a smaller pyramid in the lower left-hand corner that shows a number of figures exercising (“Food-Based 14). Despite issues with water quality of rivers and ports, Belgium’s tap water conforms to the European Union’s standards and is safe to drink (“Can I” 1).
Belgium is ranked 36th country by the CIA World Factbook...

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