Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference on a culinary trip -- small traditions that transform something that you consume without much notice at home into a travel memory that endures.
Like, for example, a cup of coffee. In Belgium, the coffee tends to be quite good, but it's about the same as good coffee anywhere. What transforms it into a Belgian culinary delight
is what's almost always resting on the saucer -- a spicy crunchy cookie called the spéculoo
. These cookies contain cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and lots of brown sugar -- they're crisp and tasty and perfectly complement a cup of joe. Spéculoos
are made by commercial bakers, but in Brussels, biscuit maker Dandoy
makes a variety that's a cut above, as well as many other varieties of cookies at its packed and fragrant small shop near the Grand Place. (31 Rue au Beurre).
More Essential Belgian Eats: Waffles, Frites, Chocolate and More.