It's not entirely surprising that in a third-millennium universe of easily derailed attention spans and quickly consumed info-nibbles, the ancient cuisine of Belgium, jewel of the North Sea, should be reduced to beer, fries, and mayonnaise. While this may be the ideal diet for our ruling class of trend slaves nostalgic for the frat houses and keg parties of yore, the reduction process can be misleading. What of the eels, endive, and juniper berries that make Bruges, for instance, such a lovely Belgian town to get bloated in? The culinary heritage of the French, the Spanish, and other marauding auslanders? The abundant accessibility of mussels and oysters and shrimp and carp and perch and pike? The fragrant hochepots, the thrush flamed with gin, the whole Bruegelian cheese-and-sausage fandango? The... More >>>