While enjoying my time with a great friend during a weekend in Belgium, she told me there was one thing I had to do before leaving. “You have to try purple noses candy from a well known street seller,” she insisted. Rarely saying no to any opportunity, I was game.
Try food? I’m so there.
When we arrived at the square in Ghent, there were two sellers with cute carts selling the lovely purple cone shaped candy with a liquid center filled with raspberry but tastes like their is a fusion of anise and lavender. Known as cuberdones or Gentse neuzen (purple noses) in Dutch because of their cone shape, they are delicious sugar packed candies that are a Ghent trade mark. They are not exported because of their short shelf life, as the liquid centers will crystalize after three weeks.
When we passed by the seller, he wasn’t exactly happy about his relatively new competition who was selling only a few carts away from him. His business plan was offering samples and dogging on the other seller, telling everyone who would listen that his cuberdones are made locally and by hand, not in a factory like his competition and everywhere else you find them. I wondered, how can you tell the difference?, but my friend says, you can taste the quality. I had to take her word for it because we didn’t try the competition.
And why would we, after all, she knows where the delicious chocolate shops and best purple noses can be found!
Have you tried Ghent’s trademark candies? When you travel do you usually go in search of the local flavors and hidden gems?
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