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Belgian cuisine tends to be French and Flemish influenced. Belgians love mussels, and a big steaming pot served with a side dish of French fries with mayonnaise is a real treat. The nearby Belgian coast delivers other seafood, such as herring – lightly salted on the boat, and eaten raw as maatjes – sole and North Sea shrimps.
Food is quite expensive, but plentiful, the beer too, makes up for its price with potency.
For dessert, you need look no further than the excellent pâtisserie or just about anything featuring chocolate.
Although good quality wine (mainly French) is available in all restaurants, beer is without doubt the country's national drink. There are over 100 breweries in Belgium, producing between them 400 different beers.
There are basically three types of beer drunk in Belgium. There is what most people would call lagers, which come either as the dark dubbel (double) beer, or as the stronger tripel(triple) beer; then there are white beers (witbier in Flemish, bière blanche in French), such as Hoegaarden and Brugs Tarwebier. Finally there are the less well-known but interesting lambic beers, which are naturally fermented, quite strong and often flavoured with fruit.