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Thread: Flemish and Walloon eat different things for Christmas

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    Post Flemish and Walloon eat different things for Christmas



    Carrefour and GB supermarket in Belgium followed the recent trend of opposing Flemish and Walloon culture and lifestyle linked to the political crisis.

    According to their survey, the most common Xmas meal in Flanders is :

    - soup for staters (especially lobster bisque)
    - cheese fondue or raclette as the main dish
    - (non ice cream) Yule log for dessert

    Most Francophone Belgians can't imagine having soup or fondue for the occasion. Their tastes are much closer to that of French, or even American people :

    - foie gras or smoked salmon for starters
    - turkey or game (venison, pheasant) for the main dish
    - cheese
    - ice cream Yule log/Bûche de Noël for dessert

    Of course, some Flemings do eat like Walloons and vice versa. But this is what is most popular on each side of the country.

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    As your neighbour country I see that our Christmas menu looks more Walloon than Flemish.

    Soup usually lobster bisque
    Turkey or game (main dish)
    Cheese
    Bûche de Noël or ice cream.

    I hope that other Europeans from different countries will tell us something about their Christmas menu. It is interesting to know.

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    Egg Mayonnaise starter

    Turkey main course - lots of vegetables including Brussel sprouts (are they just called sprouts in Brussels?)

    Ice cream often with trifile

    Christmas cake with tea and coffee.

    And of course wine.

    Of course being a veggie I had mushroom pie for my main course Yummy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starship View Post
    Turkey main course - lots of vegetables including Brussel sprouts (are they just called sprouts in Brussels?) Yummy.
    No, they are also called Brussels' sprout (choux de Bruxelles in French), with an emphasis on Brussels and TM sign (no, just kidding for the trademark).

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    The cultural gap between Flemings and Walloons is also obvious from supermarket chains. Apart from Carrefour, which is French, and the cheap Aldi and Lidle (German), the two main supermarket chains in Belgium are Delhaize and Colruyt. The former is originally from Wallonia, and the latter from Flanders.

    Delhaize specialises in gourmet products. They notably have ready dishes prepared by Grand chefs (typically from Michelin-starred restaurants). Their lay-out and packaging looks nicer than in any other supermarket. Delhaize offers many world-food products not normally available elsewhere. It's also a good place to find organic fruits and vegetables. They also have their own brand products, which are much cheaper than the famous brands for nearly equal quality.

    French-speakers, especially from the middle and upper-middle class, tend to prefer Delhaize. In fact, I know some families that do not use the expression "going to the supermarket" anymore; they just say "going to Delhaize" as they can't imagine shopping anywhere else.

    Colruyt, in accordance with Dutch-speaking culture, makes a point in having the cheapest products. Contrarily to Aldi and Lidl, which may be cheaper but only sell their own brand products, Colruyt manages to sell the "grandes marques" (famous brands) at lower prices than its competitors, by reducing "presentation expenses" (just the opposite of Delhaize, which values attractive presentation). Their supermarkets are much more spartan, with less light, simpler shelves, concrete flooring, and single refrigerated rooms instead of separate rerfigerators like everywhere else.

    Another advantage of Colruyt is its efficient organisation. Instead of queuing, customers fill then give a list of what they need from the in-house butcher's, and their number is called once's their order is ready (this way they can continue their shopping in the meantime). At the cashier's, instead of having conveyor belts, the staff scan articles directly from the shopping cart and place is in bags in another cart next to it. It makes the whole process faster and easier, as customers don't have to unload and reload their cart.

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    What are the cultural differences between Belgium's Walloons and Belgium's French Speakers/Francophone community?

    Am I right in thinking that most of Belgium's Dutch speakers are infact both Flemish/Belgium, whereas about only half of Belgium's French speaking community are infact Walloon/Belgium, the rest being actual Francphone foreigners and French speaking Flems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Knatchbull View Post
    Am I right in thinking that most of Belgium's Dutch speakers are infact both Flemish/Belgium, whereas about only half of Belgium's French speaking community are infact Walloon/Belgium, the rest being actual Francphone foreigners and French speaking Flems.
    I don't really understand what you wrote. What does Flemish/Belgium mean ?

    Northern Belgium is called Flanders. It is Dutch speaking. Southern Belgium is called Wallonia. It is French speaking. Brussels is bilingual, but 70% French speaking and 10% Dutch-speaking (the remaining 20% are hundreds of foreign languages).

    French-speaking Flemings are either bilingual French-Dutch (mostly in Brussels), or the inhabitants of French Flanders (e.g. Lille).

    If you want to know more, check this factsheet.

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