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Indelible International - Welcome to Belgium or The Intricacy of Ordering Frites

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Welcome to Belgium or The Intricacy of Ordering Frites
   Sandra Alves
   April26, 2011
  

You've made it. Gone through customs, started orientation, unpacked what you needed and are finally awarded some exploring time...Sweet! It's time to go out and see what Belgium has to offer and find yourself some of those famous Belgian frites. At least that is what I and twenty or so of my newly made CIEE friends decided to do at our first opportunity. We had even looked up how to order fries with ketchup (un ordre de frites avec ketchup ce vous plait). PS- you need to know that what Europeans consider ketchup is not the same as that famous Heinz bottle from back home, but that's a story for another day.

We thought we knew exactly what were getting ourselves in to; oh, how foolish we were. We didn't realize that the typical frites stand has a menu that rivals most American fast food chains. Seriously, these things go on forever. We looked at each other with baffled looks, "there's just no way that there's over 20 ways to fry a potato...right?" Finally I had to ask someone what the hell were all the options at the frites stand because, there's just no way there were over 20 ways to order/make French fries.

Finally one of my roommates, a Spanish transplant, stepped in and saved the day. She let our confused group know (through thinly veiled laughter) that the multitude of options at frites stands had nothing to do with the way the frites were made, but were actually describing the amazing variety of sauces to dip frites in that have become something of a source of regional pride. She introduced me to what became one of my favorites, albeit questionable sounding post-bar treat, frites avec hollandaise. Seriously one the best frites sauces EVER, especially on a long walk home from the Grand Place.

true story, Belgium
 

     

 

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