The cuberdon: Belgium's secret sweet

Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:33pm EDT
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By Teddy Nykiel

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Everyone knows Belgium's world famous gastronomic delights are crisp waffles, mayonnaise-covered fries, potent beers and decadent chocolates.

But the cuberdon - a violet, cone-shaped candy - is a Belgian specialty that has fallen below the radar.

With a sugary outer crust and a gooey inside, the raspberry-flavored cuberdon may spark memories of childhood for older generations. Since the late 19th century they have been piled onto wooden wagons and sold at marketplaces.

"People relate it with an old, sentimental candy, something from the old days," Jo Geldhof, whose family factory is the biggest maker of the traditional treat, told Reuters.

"People say: 'Oh yeah, it's from my youth and they still have that?'"

Updated marketing in the last few years has revived the artisanal sweet, and also brought new varieties. There are now cuberdon biscuits and cuberdon-flavored ice cream syrups, and from this summer, cuberdon-flavored vodka.

Until last year, the candies - known as the "Ghent nose" after the Belgian city where they were invented - were only marketed in Belgium.

But the Belgian Cuberdon company began selling them internationally last year and now sends them to buyers around the world, from Bermuda to Dubai.   Continued...

Hundreds of cone-shaped Belgian candy called Cuberdon are seen at Geldhof factory in Eeklo, northern Belgium April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Yves Herman