Welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday!
Today’s prompt was to do red, white and blue covers in honor of the 4th of July in the USA. But I’m not actually from the USA and as such don’t celebrate the 4th of July, so I thought I’d change it up and introduce the lovely country of Belgium to all you non-Belgian book bloggers.
And what better way to do this than through beautiful books representing our black, yellow and red flag?
The Atomium is a landmark building in Brussels, the Belgian capital. It was originally constructed for the 1958 Brussles World’s Fair (Expo 58) and is located on the Heysel Plateau, where the exhibition took place. It was designed by engineer André Waterkeyn and is about 102 m tall (355 ft). The nine steel spheres are connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of a iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. Five of the spheres are accessible for the public and contain exhibit halls and other public spaces. The top sphere includes a restaurant which has a panoramic view of Brussels.
Ironically, though I don’t live far from Brussels and have passed by the Atomium many times, I’ve never actually been inside myself *oops*.
Did you know that one of the most popular fried foods in the world is actually considered a Belgian delicacy? Though the name French Fries implies that this dish can be traced back to France, the origins are actually from Belgium. It is rumored that French fries received that name during WWI. At that time, American soldiers were introduced to the fried potatoes in Belgium, but because they thought they were situated in France (due to the fact that part of Belgium speaks French), the soldiers nicknamed these fried potatoes as French fries.
You can find various stands and shops selling French fries (called frituur) in every city in Belgium and they are usually served with a sauce (mayonnaise being the most popular, though there are many options) Personally, I love to celebrate the end of the work week with some French Fries on Friday evening (it’s frie-day for a reason, right?)
Manneken Pis (meaning Lil’Piddler in Dutch) is a landmark small bronze sculpture of 61 cm high in Brussels, depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. It’s the best-known symbol of the people of Brussels as it embodies their sense of humour and their independence of mind. It is dressed in costumes, several times each week, according to a published schedule, which is posted on the railings around the fountain.
Although the Manneken Pis of Brussels is the best-known, others exist. There is an ongoing dispute over which Manneken Pis is the oldest – the one in Brussels or the one in Geraardsbergen. Similar statues can also be found in other Belgian cities.
Another delicacy originating from Belgium!
In North America, Belgian waffles are a variety of waffle with a lighter batter, larger squares, and deeper pockets than ordinary American waffles. In Belgium itself, there are several kinds of waffle, including the Brussels waffle and the Liège waffle.
Brussels waffles are lighter, crisper and have larger pockets compared to other European waffle varieties, and are easy to differentiate from Liège Waffles by their rectangular sides. In Belgium, most waffles are served warm by street vendors and dusted with confectioner’s sugar, though in tourist areas they might be topped with whipped cream, soft fruit or chocolate spread.
The Liège waffle is a richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier waffle. Native to the greater Wallonia region of Eastern Belgium they are an adaptation of brioche bread dough, featuring chunks of pearl sugar which caramelize on the outside of the waffle when baked. It is the most common type of waffle available in Belgium and prepared in plain, vanilla and cinnamon varieties by street vendors across the nation.