Tag Archives: Food

Las mejores patatas fritas de Peru

If not the world. Seriously: after living five years in Belgium, I know what good fries should taste like. Eating and enjoying Belgian fries* actually spoiled them for me in most other places.

However, in one of the Sandwich places in Lima, I saw fries and had to try. And a good choice it was indeed. Freshly made, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and served with five different sauces included in the price, they were absolutely delightful.

As were the juices and the sandwiches. So if you find yourself hungry at Kennedy Square in Lima any time soon, look out for Lucha Sangucheria!


Little pleasures

Fresh made popcorn: to the best of my knowledge, there is no cinema in brussels that offers it. All you get is popcorn out of 50 liter sacks that is warmed up again. It has little to no taste. Once it was so bad,i claimed my money back and I didn’t have any since.

Yesterday, fresh made popcorn was all it needed to convince me spending an evening watching an otherwise unremarkable movie. The crisp and chewy texture with its buttery and sweet taste is unbeatable. Yamee…

Faux Gras for Breakfast

Honestly, I like Fois Gras and the few times I found it lying in front of me on a nicely prepared plate; I ate and enjoyed it. Tuna is hunted to extinctions, not exactly the same kind of fate dugs are facing. Though, I must admit having a bad conscience. It is Tierquälerei – an unnecessary cruel torturing of the animal*.

Friday, a little bit by chance, I discovered Faux Gras in an organic food shop. It’s not exactly like the original but close enough and most important: guilt free.

* Don’t believe me? Click on the link to Faux Gras above and choose “Yes, I want to eat Fois Gras”. Enjoy the video.


When I had my first bière et fromage here in Belgium and saw the mustard arriving along with the cheese, all I could think was “you got to be kidding me”. Mustard with cheese – no way! Even the English wouldn’t do this, would they? It’s a sacrilège.


Curious as I am, I had to try it nevertheless and have to admit by now that not only the mustard is a must but that celery salt also goes very well with Gouda and other cheeses. How times and tastes can change; not to mention culinary traditions.


was also the name of the restaurant where we had dinner in Lille. A nice little place serving the most popular and the most typical dishes of the north. The staff was very helpful and forthcoming and everything we ordered came in shortly despite the fully packed place. Tried and fully approved were:

  • Les crottins de l’avesnois
    Pieces of cheese backed in bread – too small but good.
  • Le tatin de Boudin noir
    Tarte Tatin but instead of dough boudin noir (black pudding) – absolutely outstanding.
  • La mlamishe vlam
    Leek cooked in beer and backed. Good.
  • La Groyère au carré du vinage
    THE cheese of Lille – le Maroille – as tarte. Delicious.
  • Le Pâté raisins, prunaux, cassonade.
    Pâté is the same in English… Didn’t know this. Anyway; a pâté with prunes and brown sugar. A dream; simply a dream.

The desserts were:

  • Crème aux spéculoos brûlée à la cassonade brune
    Though I’m usually not a big fan of Speculoos (a kind of biscuit); this was the best dessert I had in a long time.
  • Moelleux au chocolat servi avec boule de glace à la cannelle
    The chocolate cake was good, though not as soft and moist as it is supposed to be. The ice cream was great.
  • Pomme cuite arrosée de chocolat noir et servie avec boule de glace au carambar
    Baked apple with chocolate sauce is nothing you can possibly get wrong.

The overall was finished with une fleur de bière – an eau-de-vie made from beer and a bill far lower than anticipated. Needless to say that we were too lazy to go for a drink afterwards and too full to sleep well but sometimes you just know that it was worth it.


One of the most challenging aspects of combating climate change will be to change daily habits. People in Europe, the States and a growing number of other countries can afford to eat meat on a daily basis. Not that everybody does but the figures for meat consumptions are increasing continuously.  Only that agriculture and livestock breeding – especially beef – contributes to a huge amount to climate change.

Change can be as easy as limiting meat in the daily nutrition which has also other benefits. However, change isn’t easy and usually doesn’t happen over night. The city of Ghent is making the step for its’ civil servants and school children. I’m curious to see the follow-up article on the reaction of the volunteers.

* Mahlzeit, bon appetit, enjoy your meal

Eating with the eyes

makes me hungry.

Recipe for Lebkuchen*

To make original German Lebkuchen, you need:

  • A very motivated sister
  • Approximately 5 hours
  • A clean kitchen (at least one out of the five hours)
  • A good stomach to try the dough, the sugar decoration, the first hot Lebkuchen and the cold decorated ones

Furthermore, it is advised to take the following ingredients:

  • 1200 gr white flour
  • 550 gr honey
  • 250 gr butter
  • 250 gr sugar (the result is not as sweet as it may seem now)
  • 30 gr dark cacao powder
  • 1 package of Lebkuchen spices (approx. 20 gr)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package of backing powder
  • Some salt

It’s really easy: Just heat the butter slowly with the honey, the sugar, the spices and the dark cacao powder until you have a nice, creamy, liquid sauce. Meanwhile, you mix the flour (all of it) with the baking powder and the salt. Add the eggs and slowly the warm (not hot!) spices-butter-honey-sugar-cacao mix and knead all of this until you get a nice, smooth and greasy dough. Give it a rest (half an hour or half a day) while you clean the kitchen.

The optimised approach to get the biscuits is to roll out the dough directly 5 mm thick on the greased backing tray and to cut out stars, moons, hearts and whatsoever else. Once this is done, the dough remaining between the cutout forms is just taken out. Baking time: 10-12 minutes in a well heated 200°C environment (= oven). To be done over and over and over again until all the dough is used. Let it cool down.

After one hour (you may enjoy something salted after all the sweet stuff) you need:

  • 2 egg-whites
  • 250 gr icing sugar

You beat up the egg-white with a kitchen machine until it gets a bit more solid, then you sieve the icing sugar into it while continuing stiring the kitchen machine. I should have taken a video for better illustration but I needed both my hands for this. Once you get a nice, smooth and brilliant white paste, you can start decorating the Lebkuchen with this and other evt. coloured sugar stuff.

Give it another rest (12 hours), clean the kitchen (again) and enjoy (if you still can) the nice smell of Lebkuchen which will be everywhere in your place.

* Gingerbread, pain d’épices

** I upload my photos of what we got out of this procedure as soon as I have an opportunity.

*** Warning: The quantities given here are enough to make Lebkuchen for a very, very big family and all of your friends. Taking 600 gr flour, 270 gr honey and so on, will still give you plenty of it.

A South African Christmas

23rd of December: Eating chocolate and rum-raisin ice cream in the sun. Temperature: 28°CChristmas feelings: None

24th of December: Getting up very late after a busy week, taking a shower. Making a fruit salad of apples, oranges, bananas, pineapples, and raisins. In my family fruit salad is one of the traditional desserts for Christmas Eve even if nobody knows why. Later in the afternoon: Making a Stollen (traditional German Christmas cake) adapted to South African shopping opportunities. For two Stollen take: 500 gr flour, instant yeast, 100 gr sugar, some salt – mix it. Add 20ir0 ml hand warm milk, one egg and 50 gr margarine (I couldn’t get unsalted butter) – stir very good and let the dough raise for something like 50 minutes. Cut the peeled skin of a lemon and an orange very fine, add finely cut candid cherries and raisins to the dough and, if you like it, some chopped almonds. Make two stretched cakes (can’t say this better) and spread margarine on them. Bake at 180°C for 40 minutes, let cool down before covering with icing sugar and decorating with candid cherries. Evening: Helping one of my neighbours, Xoliswa, preparing several salads for the following day. Coming home late.

25th of December: Having breakfast with Stollen and fruit salad. Slight Christmas feeling. Going to Xoliswa’s house for a traditional celebration her son is having. He wants to thank his ancestors for guiding him through the process of becoming a man, for being an adult now, and for having a good job. The whole family comes together to spend the day chatting, laughing, eating and drinking. The drinks: a lot of alcohol, among them the traditional African beer Umqombothi, which you can enjoy the fifth time you try it (acquired taste). The food: a lot of salads – bean salad, beetroot salad, rice salad, noodle salad, and, of course, meat. Very nice feeling to be with a family and other neighbours but getting tired of Xhosa after some hours. Spending the rest of the evening in front of the TV.

26th of December: Getting up late after waking up several times at night because one neighbour is playing music very loud throughout the night… Shower, eating the rest of the fruit salad… Ironing, cooking, writing these emails and posts I should have written last week, still some sewing to do… Nice day.

Food in SA – for my best Peruvian friend

I have been asked about the Food in South Africa. This article is about what I have tasted and heard so far about it. It is far from being complete and I guess that I will have to make several updates in the nearer future.


Samp is maize (Maismehl) cooked with beans. I tasted it once since I arrived here and I think that I like Pap better. Nevertheless, I suppose that every region and perhaps every family has its own way of preparing Samp and I hope that I can try some more of it.


The best way to describe Pap as I have eaten it, is to say that it is like Polenta. It is also made form maize and you eat it with a sauce of tomato and onions and I love it. Another meal is referred as African Salad: It is a more liquid Pap with sour milk – not tasted yet.

Skop (sheep’s head) is also traditional and very popular in townships but I have not tasted it yet.

What I’ve tasted is Bunchaw – it’s (sorry guys, don’t know how to say this in English):

wie ein Berliner, aber mit gegrillter Hähnchenleber gefüllt.

Un beignet avec le foie de poulet

I hear you say: How disgusting! But believe me it is not as bad as it may sound. When I told Phelo that we eat this kind of stuff with jam, he told me that this is disgusting. I really like the way people look at and argue about food 😉

What else? Well, I’ve been told that the most popular meal in South Africa is meat. I think the most common is rice with something – vegetables, sauce, and meat. This is my lunch most of the time – rice, chicken, vegetables – nice! Potatoes count as vegetables and bread is not very common. Of course you find it but the variety of bread is very, very limited.

The cooking is quite influenced by English (chutney), Indian (curry), Dutch (stew) and other “cooking” traditions.

Saturday, I am invited to a braai (South African BBQ) so I will be able to tell you next week how this looks and tastes like.

Concerning drinking:

I think there are two typical South African drinks I’ve tasted so far:

  1. Rooibos tea
  2. Savanna.

Rooibos tea is known in Europe, I think. And when it comes to Savanna I don’t want to deprive anybody coming to SA the first time to discover this on his or her own. But let me say, it is sweet, slightly alcoholic, and I like it.

What else?

You can buy beer, Heineken and this stuff but you have problems finding real (= German) beer.

Soft drinks are very popular and juice is quite expensive.

In Cape Town, you can drink tap water and that’s what I drink most of time.

I hope that this was helpful. But the best is anyway to come and taste on your own!


P.S. Sorry, no photos for this post. Even with Google Image, I found no satisfying pictures.