talks about Belgium, talks indirectly also about chips, mainly known here as patates frites or
frieten, depending if you're residing in the French-speaking or the Dutch-speaking provinces.
This is a very well known fact throughout Europe and abroad. The potato chip is very much part
of our national heritage, even our every day life seems to have the same good taste and golden
Visitors to Belgium have hardly left railway station or airport, or they look around to find a nearby chips shop. Once their first yearning for a delightful bag of chips satisfied, they then carry on to see the many attractions Belgium has to offer. The Belgian cuisine is unique and of very high repute all over the world. However, Belgians seem to have an inferiority complex about their chips and are not boastful about it at all. Instead of looking at it as one of our strongest culinary trump cards, we tend to see it more as a weakness. Our happiness with chips is only an illusion. Why aren't we much prouder about our delicious chips?
The Dutch don't seem to have have these problems. They are very proud about their cheeses and their beers. Even though Belgium has more than 500 different kinds of beers, we don't promote it anywhere near as successfully as the Dutch do. You can even find Dutch beers in small stalls in the jungle! They export factory-made chips to all parts of the world, they promote our National Pride and are doing a good job at it. They seem to think: "If the Belgians don't do it, we'll be the first and we will get the rewards".
In the beginning of 1994, the employees from the official French tourist bureau received a booklet where they could learn on how to welcome tourists from abroad. The brochure reads as follows for the Italians: "Careful, their children are their kings". In Sweden they say: "A key on the table brings bad luck". Germans don't like improvisation, and the Danish do not like formalism. However, the advice on how to welcome the Belgians was as follows: "Don't confuse the Flemish with the Walloons, don't tell Belgian jokes and above all, don't talk about their chips".
Belgians and chips, it's most certainly a subject for very urgent debate...