Food Culture and Tradition

Food, People and Culture Resources

Belgian Foods Glossary


A la Flamande: “in the Flemish style,” i.e., rich with smooth egg and cream sauces.

Amuse-geules: small cocktail tidbits.

Biftek: used to describe any trimmed, boneless piece of meat whether beef, veal, pork, or horsemeat.

Botermelk met Mavermout: buttermilk soup thickened with oatmeal, enjoyed on meatless Fridays in Catholic Flanders.

Boudin: sausage.

Boudin Blanc: mild-flavored sausage. Boudin Noir: blood sausage.

Boulangeries: bakeshops specializing in “everyday” breads, rolls, cakes, and pies.

Carbonnades Flamandes: famous Belgian dish of stewed beef and onions simmered in beer.

Chicoon: French name for the variety of chicory from which the Belgian endive was first developed.

Confiseries: fancy bakeshops featuring party cakes and pastries.

La Cramique or Rosynenbrood: a loaf rich with raisins and eggs, served thickly sliced and buttered, with coffee. The favorite coffeebread of Belgium.

Creme Fraiche: slightly thick and flavorful cream available in both France and Belgium, widely used for fruits and desserts and in cooking.

Crevettes: tiny shrimp.

Elixir d’Anvers: one of the national liqueurs of Belgium, somewhat similar to Benedictine.

Elixir de Spa: Belgian liqueur with a taste of pine. Estaminets: beer taverns.

Fondu Bruxelloise: a favorite appetizer of chilled thick cheese sauce, poured into a pan then cut in squares, breaded, and deep-fried.

Fraises des Bois: strawberries. Frites: french-fried potatoes. Fritures: any deep-fried food. Hutespot: the Flemish pot-au-feu. Keppebouillon: chicken soup.

Kervelsoip: light buttery soup, flavored with fresh chervil

Marcassin: wild boar. Moules: mussels.

Padstools: a delightful appetizer of salmon-stuffed eggs arranged on end with tops of tomatoes to resemble mushrooms.

Patisseries: fancy bakeshops featuring party cakes and pastries.

Pistolets: traditional rolls for late Sunday breakfast. Preisop: smooth pureed leek and potato soup. Preskop: headcheese.

Rijspap: Flemish rice pudding made with milk, rice, and raisins, flavored with saffron and cooked in a large flat dish.

Speculaas: molded spiced breads and cookies. Sprats: small herrings.

Tomates aux Crevettes: the favorite Belgian appetizer, tomato halves heaped with tiny shrimp in mayonnaise.

Walzin: Belgian liqueur with a flavor similar to Benedictine.

Waterzooi: between a soup and a stew, made with fish or chicken, its rich broth fortified with an egg and cream sauce. Served in a soup plate, it is accompanied by buttered bread or potatoes. The fish or chicken is usually served as a separate course.

Whitloof: Flemish name for the variety of chicory from which the famed Belgian endive was developed.

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