Eating Around the Globe: Belgium (Limburg!)

“Waar in ‘t bronsgroen eikenhout, ‘t nachtegaaltje zingt,
over ‘t malse korenveld, ‘t lied des leeuweriks klinkt,
waar de hoorn des herders schalt, langs der beekjes boord:
Daaaaaar is mijn vaderland, Limburgs dierbaar ooooooooord!
Daaaaaar is mijn vaderland, Limburgs dierbaar oord!”

Forgive me this sudden outburst of patriotism 🙂
There’s namely a very good reason for it! This evening I am making a speciality of my hometown region ‘Limburg‘ together with Fatma.
Limburg is one of the ten provinces of Belgium, it is situated in the north-east, close to the German border.
The song I embedded above is the regional hymn of Limburg.
The inhabitants of my region are mostly very proud of their province and I figured that a little regional folklore won’t hurt 😉

Since Fatma was so generous to show me a piece of her culture, I promised her to do the same.

The first of November was all saint’s day, which made me think about a common traditional dish of my region in Belgium:
Boekweitpannenkoeken met spek!
Buckwheat pancakes with bacon!

All saints is a solemnity celebrated on the 1 of November by the Roman IMG_1513Catholic Church. The celebration has been adopted from the celtic traditional ‘Samhain’, a day on which the deceased were honoured. Catholic church made it into a day to commemorate the souls of the deceased who have attained heaven, who are ‘saint’ in other words.

The tradition to bake ‘buckwheat pancakes’ around all saint’s day comes from the ancient use to give bread to the poor people on these days to IMG_0869ask them to pray for the deceased. Later on, this evolved into the baking of pancakes instead of distributing bread. This tradition developed further into the present day celebration of all saints in Limburg: usually, the family gathers together to visit the graveyard and spend the afternoon or evening baking buckwheat pancakes.

Buckwheat pancakes are very specific for my region. The Buckwheat grain (if we want to be scientifically correct, we have to say it is a seed actually) is best grown on poor ground. The sandgrounds of my birth place are especially apt for cultivating this plant. That’s why this kind of pancake is not so much a national speciality, but a regional one: Lèmbörgsj!

This is the recipe :

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  • 150 gr. buckwheat flour
  • 50 gr. plain white flour (or I am using oatmeal)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 dl milk (I’m using soy milk, but you can perfectly use normal milk)
  • bacon (2 strips for each pancake)
  • 3 apples

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut the apples in IMG_0884thin slices and fry them in a pan. In another pan fry the bacon strips until they are crispy, then add some batter on top of the bacon, so it forms a nice pancake.

Carefully turn the pancakes around, they can break easily because of the bacon. Or you can try to flip them (which is way more fun 😉 )

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Serve with the fried apples and any topping you like! I would recommend some apple and pear syrup (another delicious regional product!). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any here in Germany, so we topped our pancakes with honey, goji berries, raisins and the fried apples.

Smakelijk!

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