Cycling Through Culture: Belgium

10/07/2019

Cycling Through Culture: Belgium

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Belgium?

If you’re like most other people, chances are it’s either beer, chocolate or football. Right?

Unbeknownst to some, Belgium offers some of the most beautiful and tranquil cycling trails in Europe. Maybe even the world.

At Freewheel Holidays we have some amazing deals on cycling holidays in Belgium.

But, while you’re over there, be sure to sample all the other components that make up Belgium’s cultural stew…

Of course, as we’ve discussed, a primary ingredient in that stew is beer!

Beer is a national culture in and of itself in Belgium and is about as synonymous with the country as it possibly could be.

With a massive variety of styles, colours, brands and brews available you’ll never run out of drinking options, but don’t take that as a challenge!

Plus, most beers are served in bottles and come with their own specially designed drinking glasses. Pretty cool collectables if you’re the ultimate beer enthusiast!

Even though the country is relatively small there are still well over 200 breweries in the country, including breweries managed and operated by Trappist Monks.

The beer culture in Belgium has even become such a national institution that UNESCO has recognised it on their List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Just try not to drink too much on your cycling holiday in Belgium, OK?

Then again, if you are hugely interested in exploring Belgium’s beer culture and take on a cycling holiday, then you definitely need to check out our Belgian Beer Trail cycling holiday!

But what good is a crisp, cool glass of beer without some delicious food to enjoy it with?

Well, you’ll find plenty of that on your Belgium cycling holiday too!

Quite surprisingly French Fries, or simply “Fries,” are somewhat of a national staple in Belgium and it is believed Belgium is where they actually originated.

During WWII, American soldiers gave the crispy potato treat the title of “French Fries” because the Belgians who introduced them to the snack spoke French – a deadly mistake!

The fries are often double-fried to preserve the fluffy centre while accentuating the crunchy exterior for the perfect fry. They’re also served with numerous sauces and toppings.

Simply put? The best fries in the world. Period. Sorry America!

Beyond this, Belgium also has several dishes which could be considered the ‘National Dish’ like Moules Frites.

These are freshly fished muscles steamed with onions and served with… Yep, you guessed it… fries!

Alternatively you’ve got Carbonade Flamande which is a Belgian beef stew made with beer. Are you seeing a pattern emerge here?

If you look closely enough another pattern you might spot is Belgium’s ongoing success in the world of comics.

In fact, The Adventures of Tintin, The Smurfs and several other massive titles in the comic world had their start in Belgium with Belgian artists and writers.

These artists and writers helped to popularise the comic format all over Europe and led to a massive surge in comic sales.

Although, popularity and sales declined steeply during the Second World War for obvious reasons.

Having said this, the country has recovered from war times remarkably well and is now considered to be one of the safest and healthiest places in the world to live.

The country enjoys exceptional national scores when it comes to both healthcare and education and is classed as a high-income country.

As a result, Belgium is considered to be one of the more economically stable and profitable countries in all of Europe.

If all of this is wetting your cycling appetite, why not check out what amazing cycling holidays in Belgium we have to offer?

Follow the previous link or check out our holiday listings above for more info!