Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nous Aimons les Belges!

WELCOME TO OUR BLOG, Belgian friends. I will see that Kari translates everything into correct french (because I'm just not that good!!!)
Many of our faithful followers have discovered by now that we have been on a full-court press to get our Belgian supporters on board. I now see that our country count includes Belgium and I am finally complete!!!

As an ode to Belgium, I want to share some interesting facts and details about our beloved Belgium....

Belgium has a population of 10.3 million people and if it were a state in the United States it would rank as the 8th most populous state (somewhere between Ohio and Michigan.) Despite its size, it has three official languages - does anyone know what they are?

There are over 800 kinds of beer made in Belgium and Belgians consume an average of 150 liters of beer per person each year. Despite the fact that there are so many beers to choose from, my beer of choice (the Chrysler of beers, if you will) is and continues to be Jupiler. Tell me, what is the indication of a perfectly poured glass of Jupiler?

Not to be outdone by their beverage of choice, Belgium is a culinary mecca - if for nothing else but for its chocolate, frites, and waffles.
Jean Neuhaus invented the PRALINE chocolate in Brussels and these morsels of goodness should not be passed over by ANYONE. Belgium produces 220,000 tons of chocolate per year. After many hours of enjoying the Jupiler, Kari and I would often frequent one of many Frites stands, where we would enjoy these "BELGIAN" fries (complete with mayonnaise, thank you.) Does anyone know where French Fries originated?

Lastly, to complete our food tour, let's face it - that's all that really matters sometimes! Let us not forget the ever popular and oh so delicious Belgian Waffle. Now, let's not be mislead by what we Americans believe to be the Belgian waffle. There are, in fact, three kinds of waffles, but Kari and I will assure you that when in Liege, there is only ONE kind of waffle. This Gauffre is by far, the best smelling thing you will ever experience - do you think we can order some up for the 20th mile? I've tried to replicate them in my at-home-waffle maker, but alas, I can not reproduce the buttery, sugary mix. Only 50 days to go until I can sink my teeth into one of these.
And, now as I leave you all for a bit of coffee, I ask you to also look into Belgium's connection to Smurfs. (more later) It sure is a smurfy day!!! I am running 12 miles this morning and then off to our Red Carpet Party/Fundraiser (to benefit the local historical society. Always a good time, I'll post photos)
PS - just because I have chosen to report on Belgium's food does not undermine the fact that it is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, inhabited by some of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met (but the food is good, too).


  1. Ah, Jupiler. But nothing is better than a cold Framboise. God bless those Trappist Monks at Abbey de Leffe. :)

    Can I spill on the 3 national languages? My guess is: Francais, Nederlandias (sp. alert!), and Anglais!

  2. Oh, Bad Hippie, I'll give you 2 out of the 3 languages for our beloved Belgium. French, and Flemmish, right? I can't give you English, though.

    I would have thought you to know the indicator of a perfectly poured Jupiler.. any guesses?

  3. I would like to say that the third language is Wallon, but I have a feeling it's German. Am I right?

  4. AND WE HAVE A WINNER!!!! (leave it to the linguist to know the answer...good job partner)

  5. HEy, I'm from belgium (flemish part = dutch speaking)

    Belgium is 60% dutch , 40% french,and around 74000 german speaking

    the french is nor really french (wallon) its a dialect but its mostly normal french
    same for the dutch (flemish)

  6. Dear Anonymous:
    Thank you for being the only person from our beloved Belgium to comment on our blog. While I do not speak Flemish, both Kari and I were exchange students in Liege a long long time ago. Our hearts are always partially Belge - French, Flemish, or German! I was just back to Belgium in July and spent a lot of time in 'your neck of the woods.' Love your country!

    In any case, thanks for your post. Have a few Jupilers for us!

  7. PS - thank you for not going into the Belgian politics on this blog. I'm following the news over there and it just sounds like it is getting more and more complicated. Good Luck and I hope that the politicians find a solution soon.