Who would of known that Belgium was such a food destination, I wish I knew. Maybe Belgium is England 50 year ago whereby everyone met each other at the local fishmonger, butcher and grocer.
From the moment we crossed the border we were met by wonderful produce literally being sold from the road. Okay, we were not on the highway but actually on a semi-highway on our way to the beautiful coastal town of Nieuwpoort. I get excited about salad, shoot me, but I do. It was a happy day when we were met by row upon row of gorgeous balls of coloured salad. I was in my element when we could pick our own salad straight from the ground. I say ‘we’ but I mean me, even the farmer gave me a funny look when taking photos of his amazing crop. This genius farmer even had a vending machine with his fresh produce displayed in it. Admittedly it took three of us to figure out how the machine actually worked but for a few euro’s we were armed with potatoes, berries, tomatoes and oh the salad. Is this the future of how farm produce will be sold?
It was at the butcher in Nieuwpoort who pointed me at a ‘traditional cut’ of meat. It was so traditional in fact that the butcher a few towns down the road could not recognise the cut of meat when prodded. The ‘Westends Gebraad’ was a smoked pork shoulder rolled with a local smoked cheese. Pork and cheese – I was intrigued. I decided to serve this with a mushroom sauce (who is counting calories) and some butternut, nicely caramelised on the edges. I quickly pan-fried the pork and then stuck it in the oven on 220c for about 12minutes. It reminded me of a German ‘Kassler Rib’ – you know the one, the cured and slightly smoked pork chop was normally served with a canned pineapple on top! Anyway the ‘Westends Gebraad’ was delicious, off to a good start then.