The famous little raspberry cone was created over 150 years ago and, since then, has established itself as an ancestral delicacy of the Kingdom of Belgium. However, its exact origin is still unknown, and its artisanal recipe is a jealously-guarded secret…
It is widely believed that the cuberdon was first made in the 19th century by a clergyman living in near Bruges, in Flanders. The story goes that this is how it got its “bonnet de cure” (priest’s hat) nickname.
Its Flemish origins would appear to be substantiated by the fact that in Dutch ‘kuper’ means ‘cone’. However, that would be too simple. Unlike their Walloon neighbours, the Flemish do not call the sweet a ‘cuberdon’ but a ‘neuzeke’, which means ‘small nose’.
To add to the confusion, a work published by Duculot in 2000 attributed its origin to the French language, with etymologists explaining it as a mutation of “cul (de) bourdon”, which translates as “bee’s bottom” and is also a rather vulgar way of referring to a woman’s shapely bottom.
The foodies in Wallonia and Flanders may dispute the origins of the word ‘cuberdon’, but they all agree it is has a unique, inimitable flavour.
A genuine cuberdon has a delicate crusted outer layer that gently bursts in the mouth to release an elegant sweet syrup. To conserve its unique texture and flavour, a cuberdon must be enjoyed within eight weeks of being made.
It is the natural raspberry flavouring in the traditional cuberdon which gives it its pretty crimson colour.