When you take a look at the map of Europe, Belgium is a tiny dot, somewhere to the North. Yet for such a small country it is surprisingly active and rich on foodie events. Of course, you need to know where to look, as information is well hidden to say the least. Once you find the right sources though, there is so much to choose from. There are local beer festivals, local jam festivals, celebrations of spring and autumn, local cheese festivals, wine festivals and probably many more I am not aware of.
Looking for cheese and cheese related things, I came across the Passendale cheese festival. Passendale is a small town in Belgium, close to Ypres, which also happens to be home to the Passendale cheese. A very quaint, little town, church in the middle, town hall, town square, and a LOT of cheese.
Our Sunday at the Passendale cheese festival started with the visit of the cheese museum. Very interesting. Although a dedicated cheese eater, I had very little idea on the process, the work, the science that goes into making cheese. Worth a visit if in you are close by.
Arriving in Passendale, music, cheese, beer and party. A very well designed map of the festival in our hands, we started at point 1, the Passendale cheese stand. Rarely does one get to see so much cheese in one place. Besides the local brands, we tried the spicy and creamy Cobergher cheese, as a well as a delicious aged goat cheese. We bought some of the cheeses as well, not sure though when we’ll get the chance to go through all of them. I always get just a little bit carried away at cheese festivals and end up buying way too much.
The Passendale cheese festival ended with a big lottery – we didn’t win – more cheese tastings, and a local Passendale beer. Then it was back to Brussels. All I need to do now is look for the next foodie event worth a visit.