According to the Belgapom association, the quarantine imposed due to the coronavirus could lead to a waste of 750 thousand tons of potatoes
The quarantine weeks have been objectively difficult for all of us. We passed them with serenades on the balconies, large collective mixes and treasure hunts to find the last piece of yeast at the supermarket. But our cousins in Belgium have been asked for a further sacrifice: to prepare dishes and side dishes at least a few times a week potatoes is fries. "You will understand the suffering!" Comments the hamburger & Co. enthusiast, ready for yet another pommes frites feast; while the nutritionist friend starts banging his head against the wall asking at least to opt for a civil boiling or, at most, for a quick pass in the oven. The question, however, is more serious than you can imagine.
Belgium, in fact, can boast a very luxuriant potato sector (yes, it's called that), which has seen real peaks in the production and processing of potatoes for the industry in recent years. The health emergency from Covid-19, however, somehow broke this spell: and so Belgapom, the Belgian association for the trade and processing of potatoes, has denounced in recent weeks that they are well 750 thousand tons of tubers which, due to the contraction of quarantined consumption, risk ending up directly in the waste.
Celebrate them friteries Brussels and surroundings – icons of street food in a Belgian key and the administration at all hours of the day of packets of French fries to be enjoyed on the street – they have moreover recorded a more than drastic drop in their business; as well as restaurants, bistros, canteens and fast food chains, forced to close or limit themselves to just delivery. Added to this is the cancellation of all the main ones events collective, from concerts to sports competitions, with their relative opportunities to consume a portion of potatoes in the stands. Moral: tons and tons of various products closed in some warehouse await – perhaps in vain – to end up in the fryer.
Hence the decision to appeal to culinary patriotism. The families of Belgium have been called to put a hand on the heart and with the other to hold the pan, and to brush up on the local traditions related to the tuber: among these stands out without any doubt that of the moules-frites, recipe that combines mussels – boiled, or cooked in broth, wine or butter – and fried potatoes. Will all this be enough to save the season and avoid the colossal waste? Probably not, but this curious collective "sacrifice" could still represent a small patch to the large tear inflicted on the potato sector by the coronavirus.