Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crisps... again

One would not think that a trip to Brussels and Amsterdam would yield a post about crisps (aka potato chips). Well, enter one funky concept hotel known as CitizenM. In the lobby is their "Canteen" where you can get snacks, drinks, lip balm and stuffed animals 24/7. Lo and behold, prominently featured were (among others) the following bags of salty snacks: 

OK, so the bag on the left isn't THAT weird, right? Seems kind of normal next to the other one, doesn't it?! Of those in our party, I was the only one yearning to delve into the wonderful world of roast ox crisps. I wasn't winning over many friends and I almost had to go it alone. After carefully checking the ingredients, I found that there is no ACTUAL ox in these crisps. Ox flavor, yes, but not real ox. (Ox flavor?) Anyway, I could resist no longer and had to have them. To appease everyone else, ham and English mustard was purchased, as well as sweet Thai chili. 

I must admit, the roast ox crisps were my favorite! They tasted akin to very salty roast beef (but way more crunchy). The ham and mustard crisps were interesting, too. A slap in the face of wicked salty baked ham, then a lingering taste of zesty mustard. As for sweet Thai chili, I've had that flavor before and while they were tasty, they didn't blow me away.

So, keep your eyes open during your travels. You never know where you'll find some interesting crisps in unusual flavors!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Waffles, Part Deux

Back to Brussels for Christmas this year. Man, I love this place! First of all, we had amazing hosts and a gorgeous place to stay. Aside from that, Belgium may be a small country, but they're huge on tasty things. 

We arrived on Christmas Day and in an effort to keep jet lag from getting the best of us, we headed out in Brussels in search of the perfect Christmas waffle. (That should be a tradition, no?) Well, we ended up at the same stand we encountered six years ago. Though they had a little different set-up, the waffles were still lovely works of culinary art and tasted absolutely scrumptious. 

Choices, choices!

What have we learned since our last encounter with these delicacies?
  1. Stay away from powdered sugar! Upon first bite, your tendency is to be so excited that you inhale in anticipation, thus resulting in a coughing fit during which you end up blowing powdered sugar all over yourself and your companion(s).
  2. Avoid going for "the works." There's only so much space on a waffle. Sure, who doesn't love bananas AND strawberries AND chocolate AND whipped cream? There is physically no way to get that all in your mouth at one time. Order a couple different waffles and share.
  3. Waffles are best enjoyed in close proximity to Manneken Pis. (Yes, the peeing boy statue.) Who knows why the combination works, but it seems to be the thing to do. When in Rome, er, Brussels!
Live and learn. Then eat more waffles!