FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Belgium, Mussels And Fries

Nov 30, 2014
2014 / November 2014

Despite the obvious inference, it is today believed French fries originated not in France but in Belgium. A Flemish manuscript dating to 1781 contains the first reference to the fried potato. Today, frites pair with another quintessential ingredient of Belgium, mussels, to create the national dish: moules-frites, a comfort-food dish popular throughout other parts of Europe, particularly in France.

Mussels, once considered a food of the poor, were eaten in the winter months in Belgium, when no other seafood was available or abundant. As were potatoes. The dish peaked in popularity after World War I, when friteries popped up across the country, churning out the dish in large quantities affordably.

Moules-frites remains ubiquitous in modern-day Belgium, a social dish that brings people around a table to enjoy bowls of steaming mussels and perfectly fried frites. The dish is served in separate bowls so the French fries do not become saturated and soggy, the mussels typically displayed in the same pan and stock they are cooked in. The best mussels come from the Scheldt, a shallow river connecting Western Belgium to the Netherlands. Mussels should be shaken during preparation to ensure they cook evenly. The bintjes potato is preferred for frites due to its high starch content; the potatoes are typically double-fried with a hint of cayenne. While a variety of sauces may be available, mayonnaise traditionally accompanies the dish.

Moules-frites can be found anywhere in Belgium, but it doesn’t have to be the same each time you enjoy the dish. Several popular variations for the mussels exist. Perhaps the most popular, mariniéres prepares the mussels in white wine, shallots, parsley and butter. A simple preparation, au vin blanc mussels are cooked in white wine. Natures means the mussels are prepared with celery, leeks and butter. À la crème is similar to the mariniéres version, but with flour and cream for a thicker consistency. À l’ail, another popular method, marries the mussels with sliced or minced garlic.

More modern interpretations of moules-frites infuse the steaming liquids with different flavors, such as smoky chili or curry, or with another traditional Belgium staple, beer — moules à la bière. Also increasing in popularity is moules parquées, mussels served raw on a half-shell with a lemon-mustard sauce.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


Insta Feed
Mar 21, 2023

Salem, Massachusetts, Announces 2023 Festival Schedule

The town of Salem, Massachusetts, may get a lot of attention come October and Halloween, but this year-round destination offers a full schedule of festivals perfect for any season.

FXExpress Traveler of the Year

FXExpress Traveler of the Year Contest 2023

Mar 21, 2023

4 Lesser-Known Museums to Add to Your Madrid Trip

With some of the world’s most iconic artists hailing from Spain, narrowing down which museum to visit when in Madrid can be challenging. Often, the fun of visiting a museum goes away when feeling pressured to see absolutely every famous work of art in a museum. Instead of venturing to one of Madrid’s larger and more well-known museums, choose one of these lesser-known museums for an equally enriching (and less-crowded) experience:

Mar 21, 2023

7 Hotels Prepare to Celebrate the Coronation in London, Ireland, Scotland

The coronation of King Charles III will be held Saturday, May 6, and seven hotels around London, Ireland and Scotland will get in on the festivities with different offers and amenities.

Enter to Win $500 and Get Six Months’ Free Access to the New GT App

Now through May 8, sign up for a free six-month trial of the Global Traveler app and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card of your choice for Amazon, Apple or American Express.

Mar 20, 2023

Luxury La Casa del Playa, Riviera Maya, Opens Estero Restaurant to Guests, Area Visitors

The 2-year-old La Casa de la Playa, an exclusive, award-winning luxury boutique hotel by Grupo Xcaret, recently announced the opening of its signature Estero restaurant to the general public.

Mar 16, 2023

Wellness, Wildlife & Scenery at Alaska’s Tutka Bay Lodge

Within the Wild Adventure Company, a transformative adventure company in Alaska, ushers in a new vision for its hospitality offerings. Celebrating 40 years in south-central Alaska, with founders Carl and Kirsten Dixon at the helm, the mutigeneration-run company now focuses on a series of new adventure and wellness programs at its Tutka Bay Lodge, including the addition of a luxury-focused collection of hospitality services to add to its already outstanding reputation in Alaska.

Share Your Travel Preferences with Global Traveler in a Short Survey & Win

Learning more about our readers’ travel habits and preferences ensures Global Traveler delivers the content you desire. As the travel industry has adapted and changed over the last few years, it’s more important than ever to connect. To best meet your short- and long-term travel content needs, please help us!