Last updated on 15/12/2012
Bread that isn't really Greek
It is called pain à la Grecque (Greek bread), however the origins of this typical Brussels delicacy aren't to be found somewhere near Athens or the Parthenon... this sweet originates exclusively from Brussels.
Over two centuries ago, an abbey ran by Augustine monks was located on the site of the current Place de Brouckère, and catered for the capital's destitute.
In a neighbouring street, the Wolvengracht (or rue Fossé-aux-Loups), the good fathers gave bread to the poor. This was called ""pain de la Gracht"" (bread from the ditch, ""fossé"" in French), or Grecht in Brussels dialect. This has been distorted to the name we now know. The famous ""pain à la Grecque"" has become more refined over the years, taking on an elongated, golden twisted shape, sprinkled with crystallised sugar. It can be found in all the best biscuit-makers.
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