Our ultimate guide how to eat vlaai in Limburg
We don’t know if it’s Limburg’s biggest export product, but it’s certainly the most famous. Limburg vlaai is a regional pastry that resembles a tart. But what’s so special about it? What should you look for in a vlaai and where do you go for the very best vlaai-eating experience? We reveal all below…
To outsiders, it’s simply a type of pastry. To the people of Limburg, however, vlaaiis both sacred and an everyday treat, because they’ll use any excuse to eat it. Almost every office cafeteria in Limburg has vlaai on the menu. Throwing a birthday party? Celebrating an anniversary? Both are unthinkable without vlaai, as are funerals (black plum in that case). But the best place of all to consume a delicious slice of vlaai is seated in a sunny outdoor café!
What is "Limburg vlaai'?
Vlaai resembles a tart and measures just under 30 centimetres in diagonal. The crust is made of bread dough that’s usually filled with fruit. Not every vlaai may bear the official designation Limburgse vlaai. That honour is reserved for vlaaimade according to the traditional method in which the filling is baked along with the crust. Traditional fillings are cherry, apricot, gooseberry, rice pudding and custard. Nowadays, whipped cream is often served on top.
5 tips for eating "vlaai" like a native
5 tips for eating vlaai like a native
1. Don’t be stingy
Bought a nice vlaaiand getting ready to cut it into slices? Don’t be stingy. Make the slices generous ones. The ideal distribution key by Limburg standards is to cut a vlaaiinto eight slices.
2. Try every flavou
Go crazy and order a flavour you haven’t sampled before. Gooseberry meringue has many devoted fans. And people either love rice pudding vlaai or hate it, but once you’re a convert you’ll be counting the days until your next slice…
3. Top with whipped cream
Whipped cream has become part of the vlaai tradition in recent years, especially when you’re treating yourself at an outdoor café. It’s an especially popular accompaniment to rice pudding vlaai, which is usually served with a dollop straight away. So go ahead, have the whipped cream!
4. Don’t stop at one slice
This echoes our first tip: don’t be stingy, even with yourself. It’s perfectly normal to say yes when your Limburg friends offer you a second slice. No need to be embarrassed, just enjoy their hospitality and take the opportunity to try a different flavour.
5. Avoid the c-word
Outsiders may not see the difference, but vlaai is not cake. You can tell the difference by looking at the dimensions. Vlaai is usually quite a bit flatter than cake. Avoid the c-word when there’s vlaai around and you won’t get dirty looks from the locals.
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