When many people think of Belgian food, waffles, chocolate, fries and beer usually come to mind. And though you can find all of these throughout Belgium (and though they are really, really good), when visiting Ghent you shouldn’t miss out on trying some of Ghent’s specialties.
Here are 5 Ghent specialties you should try on your visit to Ghent, Belgium.
Waterzooi is a cream based soup that dates back to the Middle Ages. It originated in Ghent. The original soup was made of fish, but today you can find both chicken and fish waterzooi on many of the local menus. The base of the soup is made of cream, egg yolks and vegetable broth. In addition to fish or chicken, either version will usually include carrots, onions, celery and potatoes.
Known by locals as “neuzekes” (little noses), cuberdons are a traditional raspberry-flavored candy from Ghent that date back to 1873. When you bite into them you’ll find a soft, sticky center.
You will only find this mustard at one shop in Ghent, Tierenteyn-Verlent. They’ve been making this same mustard since 1790. Beware though, this mustard is a little spicy and has a bit of a kick. The mini jar is less than €2.
Mastel is a small, round bread lightly spiced with cinnamon. It looks similar to a bagel (though the hole in the middle does not go through the bread), and tastes similar to an English muffin. You can find them in bakeries around town. Locals bring them home and slice them open, fill them with butter and brown sugar and warm them in the oven. They make for a pretty tasty breakfast treat.
Speculoos are a type of cookie found in Belgium and the Netherlands. They are thin and very crunchy. They’re most commonly made from flour, brown sugar, butter and spices, such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. In years past, they were only made around the Christmas holidays, but now you can find them year round. I even saw other desserts that incorporated speculoos, like a cheesecake with crust made from speculoos.