Belgian Frites: A Guide to Finding Your Favorite Sauce

Bethany Mulcahy is a student at Virginia Commonweath University. She studied abroad with ISA in Brussels, Belgium.

Belgian frites: the most beloved snack in all of Brussels. It’s true–no matter where you are in the city, there is sure to be a frites stand close by.

I feel like I should warn you: once you taste Belgian frites, it ruins all other fries for you. Nothing can compare to the twice-fried, perfectly crispy golden goodness.

The Sauces 2But, it’s also downright sinful to come to Belgium without ordering frites and your choice of sauces says a lot about you. Now, there are countless sauces to choose from, but the six I’ll share with you are by far the most important.

  1. Starting out with the classic. We all know mayonnaise. In America you’ll find it topped on hamburgers and sandwiches, but have you ever considered pairing it with fries? If this is your go-to sauce, it doesn’t mean you’re boring. All Belgians can appreciate some frites with mayonnaise on the side. In fact, all of the sauces have a mayonnaise base.
  2. Next up is the very popular Andalouse sauce. It’s mild but full of flavor. Oddly enough, it reminds me of spaghetti sauce; it’s a mayonnaise-base sauce with a powerful tomato-basil taste.DSC01154
  3. Move aside, Sriracha. Spicy lovers: I’ve got a new sauce to light up your life. It’s called Pili-pili sauce. The taste is subtle at first and the sauce almost seems bland, but then you’re hit with with intense spiciness. If you can’t take the heat, I suggest you don’t even dare try.
  4. At first look, you wouldn’t guess that Brasil sauce is sweet. There’s no kick to it at all; it has a hint of barbecue sauce tanginess and texture. Turns out that the secret ingredient is pureed pineapple mixed with mayonnaise, tomato, and spices.DSC02670
  5. Combine mayonnaise with Tunisian chili, some spice, tomatoes and bell peppers and you’ve got sauce Samourai. This sauce is absolutely heavenly, the flavor is so dynamic each time you have it, it never gets old. As you can see, Samourai sauce has my heart. It’s okay we all have our favorites.
  6. Finally, though it has the same look and texture of Ranch, but don’t let that mislead you. Pitta-pitta is an aioli sauce with hints of dill. It has a very familiar taste, similar to that of tarter sauce, but with more lemon and garlic.

Determining the best sauce out there has sparked a lot of debate, but it seems that battle is mostly fought between Andalouse and Samourai lovers (cough, Samourai is better). I suggest you try for yourself before you make any commitments. And now that you know the six essential sauces, your only remaining question is: le sauce a côté ou dessus?

The worlds awaits… discover it.

Author: International Studies Abroad (ISA)

Since 1987, International Studies Abroad (ISA) has provided college students in the United States and Canada the opportunity to explore the world. ISA offers a wide variety of study abroad programs at accredited schools and universities in 73 program locations throughout the world.

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