Beuling, asperges, algenboter

Schnitzel Restaurant, Antwerpen, Belgium

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Given how rich blood sausage generally is, it’s not an obvious choice as the basis for a springtime dish. On the menu, this was described simply as ‘Beuling, asperges, algenboter’ (blood sausage, asparagus, seaweed butter). Not a combo you see every day, so how could I not order it?

There were are number of things going on in this dish that reflected the overall tone of our dinner – clever, but comfortably so.  In some ways, you can see a riff on the traditional Benelux springtime dish of white asaparagus and ham – except here with blood sausage – known as ‘beuling’ in Vlaams and Dutch.  There is also a echo of the classic French-Belgian-Dutch bistro salad with a round of bucheron-esque goat cheese adding richness and heft to a plate of greens. But the addition of seaweed, fried cripsy strips of which were mixed in with the greens, added a whole other element, with the seaweed picking up something astringent, and stony-metallic in the blood sausage. That may not sound like a good idea, but it actually worked really nicely, and brought an unusual freshness to the dish.  A lovely thing to enjoy, sitting on their patio in a small plaza, on an April saturday during the first warm weekend of the year.

Schnitzel’s menu changes periodically, but I have seen other beuling dishes on offer since then.  They also feature less-loved vegetables like jersualem artichokes, celeraic and cauliflower.  Looking forward to another visit the next time we’re in Antwerp.   (Last visit: April 2018)

1 thought on “Beuling, asperges, algenboter”

  1. I love that the precise writing is accompanied by a striking logo and a bright picture. This entry is “travel writing” for me, as I might not make it there soon, but am happy to hear about it as if I were there.

    Like

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