Fruits and vegetables, Belgian fries
Once upon a time in a large garden called Wallonia grew beautiful and vigorous vegetables, fruits and fruit trees. And in the third millennium, the Walloon gardeners had made great progress... But the success of horticulture and fruit growing in Wallonia has nothing to do with fairy tales. The natural richness of the soil is intelligently exploited by increasingly well trained and informed professionals. To the great delight of lovers of « laitue frisée écologique», « Cwène di gatte» (potato) and « Mara des Bois» (fruit).
Rich soils, constant humidity, Wallonia was naturally predisposed to become one of the most fertile and remarkable vegetable gardens and orchards of Europe. Although the practice of a three-year crop rotation is well ingrained in Wallonia, the concept of « integrated protection» is more recent. Nowadays an increasing number of Walloon producers, aware of the impact of their activities and their choices on the environment, are using this environmentally friendly approach. Integrated protection encourages the emergence of the natural enemies of agents that harm fruit (aphids and caterpillars) without recourse to chemicals to protect crops. Fruit growers who use these methods market their produce under the name « Fruitnet».
Strawberries, known for their exceptional flavour, hold a special place amongst the fruits offered by Wallonia. The « Elsanta», firm and perfumed. The « Gariguette», elongated and tasty. The « Mara des Bois», with the delicious aroma of wild strawberries. Not forgetting the unrivalled strawberries of Wépion, with an appellation contrôlée that delimits the production zone and the type of plant used.
Alongside the lettuce, carrots, endives, cabbage, peas, onions (bio and non-bio) and the increasingly appreciated varieties of mushrooms, one crop above all has forged the reputation of Wallonia: the POTATO. The two main categories (floury or firm flesh) each have their stars. In the floury category, the « Bintje » reigns supreme for chips and mash. The firm varieties are headed by the « Cwène di gate » (goat horn), as well as the « Charlotte » with its subtle flavour, the « Nicola » and the « Rosa » (Plate de Florenville).
The orchards of Wallonia are equally famous: apples and pears compete in aroma and flavour. The best known pears are « Conference », « Doyenné du Comice » and« Durondeau ». The apple hit parade is topped by « Jonagold », a hybrid of « Golden Delicious» and « Jonathan». After the summer crop of "James Grieve » and « Summer Red » come the autumn varieties - « Elstar », and « Cox's Orange » - followed by « Boskoop » and « Gloster » that grace our tables and perfume our houses.