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Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook [Paperback]

Ruth Van Waerebeek , Maria Robbins
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1996
It's a country that boasts more three-star restaurants per capita than any other nation-including France. It's a country where home cooks--and everyone, it seems, is a great home cook--spend copious amounts of time thinking about, shopping for, preparing, discussing, and celebrating food. With its French foundation, hearty influences from Germany and Holland, herbs straight out of a Medieval garden, and condiments and spices from the height of Flemish culture, Belgian cuisine is elegant comfort food at its best--slow-cooked, honest, bourgeois, nostalgic. It's the Sunday meal and a continental dinner party, family picnics and that antidote to a winter's day. In 250 delicious recipes, here is the best of Belgian cuisine. Veal Stew with Dumplings, Mushrooms, and Carrots. Potato and Leek Stoemp. Smoked Trout Mousse with Watercress Sauce. Braised Partridge with Cabbage and Abbey Beer. Gratin of Belgian Endives. Flemish Carrot Soup. Steak-Frites. Belgian Steamed Mussels. Belgian Steamed Mussels. Cognac Scented Flemish Waffles. And desserts, some using the best chocolate on earth: Belgian Chocolate Ganache Tart, Lace Cookies from Brugge, Almond Cake with Fresh Fruit Topping, Little Chocolate Nut Cakes. As Belgians explain it, since one has to eat three times a day, why not make a feast of every meal? 57,000 copies in print.

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From Publishers Weekly

In this charming introduction to a cuisine that fuses "French finesse" with German and Dutch country-cooking influences, Van Waerebeek, a Ghent native who teaches Belgian cooking in New York City, expands widely upon family recipes. In the anecdotal introduction, she describes Flemish food as "still deeply rooted in medieval cookery," with centuries-old reliance on such ingredients as nutmeg, saffron, almonds and dried fruits. Appetizers include vegetable dishes that, like Gratin of Belgian Endives, are rich in cheese; more than 20 hearty soup recipes are offered. Recipes featuring mussels, leeks and herring abound. Poultry and meat chapters focus on traditional favorites such as Waterzooi of Chicken ("a confusion of a soup with a stew," chock-full of herbs and vegetables) and meat loaf made with veal. Beer, used even in desserts, earns its own chapter, as does the much-loved potato ("traditionally Belgian fries were fried in the rendered fat of beef kidneys"). The chapter "Waffles and Pancakes" supplies the secret of real Belgian waffles (they are yeast-raised). With numerous sidebars throughout, on subjects from cafe life to quiche, Van Waerebeek evokes this homey, bourgeois cuisine with care and enthusiasm. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When was the last time you saw a Belgian cookbook? Van Waerebeek, who grew up in Ghent and now teaches cooking in New York City, points out that much of the country's culinary tradition remains an oral one, passed down from generation to generation, and here she presents both her own recipes and those of her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother. Belgian food is strongly linked to French cuisine, with German and Dutch influences, featuring fish and seafood, leeks, asparagus, cheese, and beer as the favorite ingredients?and don't forget the chocolate. Recipes include both homey, hearty dishes and more sophisticated fare, from Cod with Mustard and Gingered Carrots to Chocolate Chestnut Truffle Mousse. An essential purchase.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truely Beautiful Belgium Cookbook!!! Aug. 30 2006
I'm from Belgium but living in Canada. I was raised very much with the traditional foods. My mother had passed them on to my sister and myself orally as they were passed to her from my grandmother. When I came across this book I found recipes that had become blurred. I loved it from the first read page. When I showed to my mother, she fell in love with it too!!! I ended up buying 3 copies, one for myself, my mother and a dear british "aunt". Although our background is Walloon or French speaking, the recipes are wonderful. I await the author's walloon version of belgian recipes with great anticipation!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I 'v borrowed and would love to own Nov. 3 2004
By A Customer
I am from Belgium, I borrowed this cook book from a friend and I was amazed by by all these wonderful recipes that my mother used to cook. I am desperately trying to find a hard cover copy but so far no luck.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody really DOES eat well in Belgium June 11 2003
By kristen
I married into a Belgian family, and I have to say, I was intimidated by my mother-in-law's wonderful cooking. How would I ever measure up? In fifteen years, I've learned quite a few of her recipes, but after reading this book, I finally understand where she's coming from. Ruth Van Waerbeek not only introduces Belgian food and cooking, but an entire way of life. The recipes are great, and the stories and anecdotes are even better. This is one of those cookbooks you can sit and read cover-to-cover, even when you're not looking for a recipe. I'm ordering one for my mother-in-law --she'll love it!
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Five years ago, I had never heard of Belgian cuisine, but meeting my boyfriend certainly changed all of that! I was in AWE of how much reverence they paid to a single meal, but once I tasted the results, I understood what all the fuss was about.
I just couldn't afford the airfare to keep eating at Belgian restaurants, so this cookbook was a godsend! Many traditional recipes can be found in here, and they're much simpler to prepare than I had ever anticipated.
Do yourself a favor and get this in the hardcover version. If you use it as much as I do, a paperback copy will fall apart in about a month!
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5.0 out of 5 stars cooking like in the old country Nov. 25 2001
I have been truly amazed at the authenticity of this Belgian cookbook. Having been raised in Belgium, I was pleasantly surprized to see so many familiar recipes. The author explains the culinary traditions, and also substitutes ingredients if some are difficult or not possible to find in the US.
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How many times did I impress foreigners with the great belgian recipes which my grandma did not teach me?? All thanks to Ruth's book. Essential, healthy, tasty and authentic recipes which as a belgian native (now expatriate) I love to stir up for pleasure and for the good memories they bring back!!
Ruth is really special, cooking is a genuine passion for her. Having had the chance to know her personally and enjoy her cooking, I testify that she is a real master in cooking, not just belgian cooking...!)
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3.0 out of 5 stars YES PLEASE! May 14 2001
Really nice cookbook, great recipies, very authentic! Focuses on mainly Flemish recipies rather than those from the French and German speaking parts of Belgium. No pictures, the words and recipies speak for themselves.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW - May 18 2000
By A Customer
You don't have to be Belgian to love this cookbook! It's truly awesome! All the recipes I've tried so far are great - and very easy to follow. If they ever come out with a 2nd edition, I hope they include some photographs of the recipes... this is easily the cookbook I use the most!
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