Stoemp is simple and rural food usually served during the cold winter months. It's also considered to be a traditional specialty of Brussels. The key ingredient of the dish is mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables. It does not matter which vegetables are being added to the dish as they are equally suitable for stoemp. Different recipes include endives or chicory, carrots, onions, spinach, kale and brussel sprouts.
When cooking stoemp, chefs have absolute freedom of action. They may add one vegetable or use several ingredients. They may add cream or milk and season the dish with thyme, nutmeg or bay laurel. Some chefs add fried eggs or egg yolks. Even though stoemp is a self-sufficient dish, it can be served with bacon, beef, pork chops, or different sausages such as noir (a black sausage) or boudinblanc (a white Flemish sausage).
The variations of stoemp are almost endless—they depend on the region and on personal preferences. As long as the dish is warm and makes you feel cosy, it does not matter what else is added to the mashed potatoes.
Besides sampling Stoemp in some of the local restaurants, you may also attend a cooking class and learn to cook the plate along with the other traditional foods of Belgium.