October 13, 2010


What are the first thoughts that come to mind when you think of Belgium?

Last year, my thoughts were beer, chocolate, Brussels? If yours are somewhere along that line of thought you're probably not far off, although most people will now add waffles thanks to Jon Stewart.  More Belgium trivia:

1. Are their official languages in Belgium, and if so, what are they?
2. What are the colors of the Belgian flag (without looking it up!) and in what order?
3. How many people live in Belgium?
4. Does Belgium have any regions, and if so what are they?
5. Capital of Belgium?

Crepes or pannekoeken are found on menus at many restaurants and cafes.  They are popular as street food in Brussels (and decked out with fruit, chocolate sauce, and cream), but I like them best served warm with a little sugar or butter.  My family back in NC used to do crepes on big holidays, and I think they'd love seeing the crepes that are available here.  
crepes or pannekoeken

crepe fix-ins

This recipe is adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone 
I use a non-stick wide skillet pan that is about 9" in diameter.  I always grease the pan slightly before adding in more batter. I like the non-stick skillet because you can swirl the batter quickly to form a nice circle.  


Yield: 8, 9" crepes
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat flour, but you could use buckwheat, rye, corn flour etc)
3 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Mix ingredients with a hand-held mixer in a large mixing bowl (or combine in a blender or food processor). I like to mix together the wet ingredients well first, and then add in the flour and salt.  Cover and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.  Resting allows the batter to absorb the flour, so you will have soft pliable crepes. If using a blender or food processor, you'll have to scrape down the sides. 
2. Heat up a non-stick skillet, or cast iron, over medium-high heat. When hot, add a little butter or oil, and then pour in the batter (about 1/2 cup for a large pan, or more than 2 tbsp batter for a small pan, or for a 6" crepe). Swirl the batter around and then let it set for about a minute.  I cook the crepes between medium-high and medium heat. If the batter is to thick and you get thick crepes, thin it with a little bit of water. 
3. The bottom of the crepe should be golden. Flip the crepe over with your hands and a rubber spatula, and cook another 30 seconds until set. 
4. Set the cooked crepes on a plate or pie plate. You can place them in a warm oven until all are done cooking. 

I like serving them with fruit jam, nuts, fresh cut up fruits, honey, maple syrup or brown sugar. They are equally delicious served savory, but I prefer dosa for a savory crepe. 

1. Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, German, and French. 
2. The colors of the Belgian flag (left to right) are black, yellow, and red.
3. Their are approx. 10.8 M people living in Belgium.
4. Belgium has 3 regions. They are Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels.
5. The capital of Belgium is Brussels. 


  1. yum! this looks so good and i honestly thought making crepe batter was much more involved than this, so i've never tried it. i'm picking up some nutella and going for it!

  2. Love the trivia! When I was a kid, my mom would treat us with pannekoek-Sunday-afternoons. (pannekoek is crepe). It would involve cooking up a big batch of dough around 4pm, and eating them in turn with my sisters, as they came hot out of the pan (usually two pans were going in parallel) - which, by the way, is the only way to eat a pannekoek: piping hot!

    I remember that seven was the most I ever did as a 10 year old. Suffice to say that we usually skipped dinner afterwards.

    Back in the day, our toppings were either sugar or jam. I like dark brown sugar, but there's also cassonade (light brown). Nowadays, I have grown fond of the 'French' way: white caster sugar with a squeeze of lemon juice. Yum!