Blog: Flanders food feast

Catherine Sleep | 28 June 2004

I spent this weekend in Oudenaarde, a small town in East Flanders, Belgium. We did all the usual relaxing holiday stuff, such as a long cycle ride through beautiful countryside, a tour of the picturesque city of Ypres/Ieper and a mooch around the waterways of the area. But onto the food….

Naturally we sampled a few of the infamous Belgian beers and tasted a few chocolates, for which the country is also known. We weren’t disappointed by the excellence of the goods on offer, although I don’t think I’d ever get used to a 10% ABV beer. But what really struck me was the quality and value of the regular food served in the many local restaurants. Seafood and fish were prevalent, as was a range of meat and many beautifully prepared vegetables and salads. Service and presentation were also uniformly excellent. There’s clearly a lot of competition out there which is keeping standards high and prices down.

It made me wonder whether the British public’s overwhelming devotion to ethnic restaurants, Indian in particular, has stunted the growth of English cuisine in the UK. While Indian and Chinese restaurants are two-a-penny in most British towns, you’d feel pretty excited to come across the standard of home-grown restaurant that was the norm in Oudenaarde, especially with the reasonable price tags we experienced.

I love Indian and Thai food, and relish the richness of the foreign cuisine to which we enjoy easy access in Britain, but perhaps we are paying a price in that the development of our own cuisine has lagged behind.

Town of Oudenaarde


BLOG

Danone closes WhiteWave, who will acquire Stonyfield?

Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...

BLOG

Premier Foods pension news offers cheer but challenges remain

Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....

BLOG

Another reshuffling of pack at Hain Celestial

Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....

BLOG

FrieslandCampina looking to sell final non-dairy asset

FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....

just-food homepage



Forgot your password?