That’s Not Quiche

Liège, Belgium

We spend the night in a grassy Belgian field next to a pond filled with swans. In the morning, we drive to a small suburb outside the town of Liège. It’s Sunday, and the streets are empty. We park the Justy (our car) on a sidewalk—it’s apparently how they do it here in Europe—and amble in search of eats.

We wander downtown and see a line snaking onto the sidewalk in front of Jean-Francois, a bakery. Its fruit tarts glisten appealingly next to chocolate cakes piled with clouds of frosting. But what really catches our attention: miniquiches.

We buy one, and the counterwoman shakes powdered sugar over it. “That’s odd,” I think, “but perhaps things are done differently in Belgium.” She wraps it in white paper and ties it with a ribbon.

When we open the package and dig in, we realize our mistake.

“That’s rice pudding,” Mims says, chewing his creamy hunk of “quiche.” The flavor is sweet but not cloying. We devour the “quiche” with gusto and drive through Germany and into Prague, riding a sugar high that lasts until the afternoon.