Sirop de Liège is a popular Belgian spread that is loved throughout the country. It’s ultra-thick in consistency and packed with flavor from the fresh fruit used to make it. Here, we speak with Antoine Nyssen of Siroperie Artisinale d’Aubel, the family-run company that creates the artisanal sirop in the Belgium Box.
Read ahead to learn more about this unique spread! It’s sure to enthrall anyone who hasn’t enjoyed its delicacy previously. Furthermore, there’s no added sugar, so it’s a fresh treat that can be savored with the knowledge that it’s entirely plant-based.
We’ve made syrup (or sirop) in my family for more than 350 years. I’m actually a part of the 12th generation of my family, and we’re still making it! Sirop de Liège has been a staple of Belgian households for years, but we make our sirop specially with only pure fruit. For 400 years, Belgium has been home to this spread. Our business is family run, with grandchildren and grandparents working and learning alongside one another.
The traditional Sirop de Liège you find in a Belgian grocery store uses about 30% fruit, but ours is deliciously made with 100% fruit – we cook down apple and pear juices into a thick, naturally sweet reduction. It is often spread onto jam, paired with cheese, or used to cook meatballs.
It takes 30 hours in total to make. We use 80% pears, 20% apples, and cook them for 12 hours without water. We then press the fruits to extract all of the juice, and then cook the juices to evaporate the water and reduce the syrup. Then we put in jars and it can be sold.
We try to increase sales like every company, but also try really hard to keep the same quality. We like to develop and we now make other jams, as well as fresh apple juice.
The farmers traditionally had a lot of fruit trees and fruit, so this is the foundation of making sirop. Centuries ago, because there was no refrigeration or transportation to transport the fresh produce, it was important to find a solution to use all of the fruits and not let any go to waste. The fruits are best in September and October, so we try to use all of the fruits produced during that time in order to preserve the best flavor.