Features of Belgian cuisine or How to make delicious moussolons

Belgian cuisine is renowned for its variety and quality, combining elements of French, Dutch and German culinary traditions. Here are some of the key features of Belgian cuisine.

What are the features of Belgian cuisine

  • Wide range of dishes. Belgian cuisine includes a wide variety of dishes, from meat and fish to vegetarian.
  • Quality of ingredients. Importance is placed on the use of fresh and local produce.
  • Love of sauces. Sauces play an important role, often used to enhance the flavour of meat and fish dishes.
  • Pastries and desserts. Belgium is famous for its waffles, chocolate and a variety of cakes.
  • Beer. Belgian beer is an integral part of the culture and cuisine, often used in cookery.

How to make delicious musselons (Mosselen)

Mosselen, or mussels, are one of the most popular dishes in Belgium. They are usually cooked with vegetables and white wine. Here is the recipe:


  • 2kg of fresh mussels
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup fish or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for decoration


Mussel Preparation. Rinse the mussels thoroughly under cold water. Remove ‘beards’ and discard mussels with damaged or open shells that do not close when tapped lightly.

Cooking the vegetables:

  • In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes.

Adding the mussels:

  • Add the mussels to the pot with the vegetables.
  • Pour in the white wine and broth. Season with salt and pepper.

Cooking the mussels:

  • Increase the heat to high, cover the pot with a lid and cook the mussels for about 5-7 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally.
  • The mussels are ready when their shells have fully opened. Discard any mussels that have not opened.

Transfer the mussels to a platter, pour over the resulting broth and vegetables. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with crusty bread or Chips, as is the Belgian custom.

This recipe makes classic Belgian mossolons, perfect for a family dinner or a festive table. Bon appetit!

Why moussolons are considered the national dish of Belgium

Moussolons, or mussels, are considered the national dish of Belgium for several reasons related to the country’s history, culture and geographical location.

Reasons for the popularity of moussolons in Belgium:

  • Belgium has access to the North Sea, which is a rich source of seafood, including mussels. This makes mussels a readily available and fresh product.
  • The coastal regions of Belgium have historically developed fishing and seafood production, which has contributed to the inclusion of mussels in the daily diet.
  • Mussels have been eaten for centuries and their popularity has only grown over time. Traditional recipes have been passed down from generation to generation.
  • Mussels have an important place in Belgian culture and cuisine. Mussel festivals and fairs are held in various regions of the country, especially in coastal towns.
  • Mussels are quick and easy to prepare, making them a popular dish for both home cooking and restaurants.
  • There are many ways to prepare mussels in Belgium, including the classic mossolone recipe with white wine and vegetables, as well as more modern interpretations with different sauces and seasonings.
  • Belgian mussels are often served in restaurants and bistros, especially in combination with Chips (moules-frites), which has become one of the most recognisable culinary combinations.
  • Mussels are available all year round and can be found on the menu of almost any restaurant, from simple eateries to upscale establishments.
  • Mussels symbolise the traditions and rich culinary heritage of Belgium. They are an important part of the national identity and culinary pride.

Mossolons are the national dish of Belgium due to the availability of fresh mussels, historical and cultural traditions, variety of recipes and popularity in restaurants. They symbolise the country’s rich culinary heritage and remain an important part of Belgian culture and cuisine.