Hidden Belgium: A food-lovers tour of the Westhoek

Hidden Belgium: A food-lovers tour of the Westhoek

Some of the best food in Belgium is produced in the rolling hills of the Flemish west country around Ypres. It’s worth checking out the bierpaté sold in local butchers, with each recipe using a different local beer. Some say the best is made by Puydtjes in Ypres where they use strong Sint Bernardus Abt 12 beer.

Look out also for potjevlesch, literally a “little pot of meat”, made with chicken, rabbit and veal preserved in jelly, and served with a bowl of fries and a beer.

The verwenkoffie is another local speciality you might want to try. Served in local cafés, this normally features a filter coffee served with a pot of cream, a biscuit, a slice of cake and sometimes even a shot of alcohol.

And if you ever find yourself in Poperinge, drop into Bakkerij Sansen to pick up a marazinetaart. This sweet sponge cake is named after a Cardinal Jules Mazarin who soaked sponge cake in warm butter and cinnamon sauce to create a sweet, sticky pudding.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.


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