A typical Belgian family has three meals a day, eating breakfast and dinner together and lunch at school or work. Almost everyone goes out to eat on Sundays. Mealtimes are fairly standard: breakfast between 6:30 AM. and 9 AM, lunch between noon and 12:30 PM, and dinner between 6 PM and 8 PM.
Hands are to be placed above the table during mealtimes. The continental style of eating, with the knife in the right hand and the fork in the left hand, is most common. Finishing oneâ€™s food is expected, but it is not impolite for guests to decline second helpings.
Each region in Belgium has its own specialty. One famous dish in the Flemish region is called "waterzooi". It is a soup that comes originally from the city Ghent and has either chicken or fish mixed with vegetables. Most meals feature meat or fish. Another popular dish is moules frites (mussels with fries). The mussels are served in a broth of wine with garlic, celery, and onion, with the fries on the side. Belgians claim that french fries originated in Belgium and are known as frites. They are sold on street corners everywhere, cooked twice and served hot and crispy.Â Belgians dip their fries in mayonnaise, instead of ketchup as do Americans.
On the streets in Belgium, many street vendors sell fast food meant to be eaten on the run. For example, Belgian waffles are eaten as cookies instead of as a breakfast food as they are in many parts of the world. Another popular food sold by vendors is escargot (snails). The vendor scoops the tiny snails out of hot water and puts them in a paper cup or cone.
The favorite Belgian food may well be chocolate, which is world famous. For breakfast, Belgians eat bread with a chocolate paste spread on it. Chocolate milk made with dark chocolate is also a Belgian treat.