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Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook: 250 Recipes from a Rich Culinary Tradition Paperback – January 8, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (January 8, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563054116
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563054112
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The recipes are easy and the stories very amuzing.
Rita
I married into a Belgian family, and I have to say, I was intimidated by my mother-in-law's wonderful cooking.
kristen
It is very accurate and reflects the fine Flemish and French cuisine of Belgium.
Lee R.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Lee R. on November 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've lived in Belgium for over five years. When I got here I knew no one. I happened to meet a wonderful Belgian woman with whom I fell in love with and married. This book was given to us by very good friends on our third anniversary a few months ago. My wife laughed at this peculiar present from Americans and put it with the rest of our cookbooks. However, some months ago she was trying to remember a family recipe and was having a difficult time recalling all the stuff that when in it. So she got the cookbook out, found the recipe, and prepared the food according to the book. Now, she cooks from this book on a regular basis and I am the benefactor of this. This was a great present and it truly is a great cookbook. It is very accurate and reflects the fine Flemish and French cuisine of Belgium. I highly recommend this book for lovers of good food.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By The Justini on December 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I lived in Belgium, it drove me crazy the amount of attention and respect devoted to food. Why, I would wonder, can't we just pick up a box of cereal and call it breakfast? Now back in America, I realize what a true fool I was. Everything about the Belgian meal was phenomenal: the labor of love, the attention to detail, the combination of taste and texture and the presentation -- but mostly the quest for perfection. I almost did a backflip when I found this book, because I had bought many Belgian cookbooks written in French and Flemish but the conversions were difficult to do. Ruth Van Waerebeek not only makes certain that Belgian recipes can be made with American measurements, but she tells a bit about the culture that comes with the recipes, so you get a complete Belgian experience when you make the recipes. The waffle recipe works like a charm and will make a popular tradition -- these are amazing and authentic -- no frozen food aisle version can even come close. I also recommend the Mussels and Belgian Endive gratin recipes. The secret to amazing French Fries is in this book, as well. There is something amazingly satisfying about Belgian food. It is both simple and rich and it makes for a joyful meal. Everybody Eats Well in Belgium contains a treasure chest of recipes that will become family favorites and dinner party masterpieces. In short, this book is a steal at any price.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By kristen on June 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
My father always said that Belgian cooking is the best in the world. After a trip to Brussels, in which I was absolutely overwhelmed by the wonderful flavors of every meal I ate, I would have to agree with him. Belgian cuisine has its basis in medieval cooking, and favors such combinations as fruit with meat, and beer used to cook virtually anything. This cookbook is full of surprising and delicious food combinations, and these hearty recipes are wonderfully easy to make! Flemish Style Braised Endive is now one of my favorite things on earth to eat. Another big favorite in our household is Chicken with Grapes. The flavor combinations are fabulous.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cavanagh on October 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
An indispensible guide to the food of Belgium and its preparation. Although the cuisine is Flemish leaning (and no disrespect whatsoever meant) and containing no photos (really good cookery books don't need them to visualise the process and end product as the writing is strong enough), I recommend this book wholeheartedly. If you don't live in Belgium (as I do), it won't be long before you think of visiting. The food here is really rather good.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is THE best book in English on Belgian cuisine. People who have visited Belgium, love it's typical dishes: Belgian endives, aspargus, waffles, "Waterzooi", mussels, fries, ... This book - which appeals to beginning and expert cooks - explains you in a simple and playful way how to make these dishes yourself.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A reader on April 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a Belgian living in the US and I bought this book in 1996. I vouched for it being authentic and still representative of how people cook today. Even busy families know that sitting together at the table at the end of the day is a great way to unwind and to strengthen the body and mind. They value the time to listen to each other while eating slowly (no tv or other distractions). My friends and family in Belgium may sometimes bring ready made food (excellent quality is available there) but all know how to cook, do it often, and enjoy the process as a way to relax and nurture the family.

People can keep up because they know that every meal does not need to have many courses. For example, I went to a restaurant-brasserie recently in Brussels where one of the day's specials was a plate of asparagus: 6 big, flavorful white asparagus with a mousseline, chopped hardboiled eggs & parsley sauce, with bread and a glass of good wine it was a satisfying and delicious meal.

So, some of the recipes in the book are for special occasions or for the weekend, the smaller dish can be used as weekday meals when time is scarce.

I use this book often and all recipes work as described, are easy to follow, and include all the information that is needed for a successful outcome - unlike too many cookbooks with attractive pictures but missing information.

I have two friends over for lunch tomorrow and I am going to serve the waterzooi of scallops with garlic bread - quick and easy to prepare ahead of time, always delicious.
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