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Fernand Obb wins Brussels shrimp croquette competition again

20:50 08/09/2019

Fernand Obb delicatessen in Saint-Gilles has held on to the award for Brussels' best shrimp croquettes for a second year.

Obb, which won the inaugural edition of the award last year, faced competition from 18 other Brussels restaurants and cafes, including Aux Armes de Bruxelles, Chez Léon and the Brasseries Georges.

Second place went to The 1040, with Beaucoup Fish in third. The competition is organised by as part of the Eat! Brussels Drink! Bordeaux festival.

A jury chaired by Comme Chez Soi chef Lionel Rigolet, and composed of 10 food writers, assessed each entry based on criteria ranging from shape, size and temperature to the quality of the breadcrumbs, shrimp and parsley dressing.

Members of the public also took turns, three at a time, to taste one of the candidate's dishes. Their scores contributed to those of the professional jury.

Belgians consume 4.5 million kilos of North Sea prawns each year - and a large proportion of these little crustaceans are eaten in croquettes, a breaded, deep-fried combination of prawns, béchamel sauce and, depending on the chef, parmesan cheese.

Supposedly this dish was invented during the First World War in the trenches of Flanders as a way of feeding the soldiers the abundantly available prawns in a form that would keep it fresh longer. But it’s not until the 1950s that it becomes a restaurant item and a recognised Belgian specialty.

Written by The Bulletin