Chocolates with marzipan are popular throughout the year, but have you ever wondered where marzipan originated?
The origins of marzipan are a subject of some debate! The Germans, Spanish and Italians all claim the delicacy originated in their own country. The Spanish believe marzipan was invented in Toledo when the city was under siege and the population needed sustenance, but had no flour. Germans tell a similar story, but cite the place of origin as Lübeck. And the Italian story is that marzipan was created by nuns, who would shape it and paint it with natural dyes made from roses, pistachios and saffron as a means of entertainment!
In England, marzipan is known to have been a regal delicacy, enjoyed in courts as far back as the Medieval period. Nowadays, marzipan is popular for topping seasonal fruit cakes such as Christmas cake or Easter Simnel cake, which traditionally has eleven marzipan spheres on top, representing Christ’s disciples (minus Judas!) And of course, marzipan paired with chocolate is always a winning combination!
Although the original origins of marzipan may be uncertain, all agree that the quality of the nuts used to make it are important! Ground almonds are most commonly used, but variations, made with pistachios, peanuts and even pine nuts, are enjoyed across the globe.
So whenever you enjoy marzipan chocolates, take a moment to savour the taste and reflect on marzipan’s rich and, at times, ambiguous history!
Try our selection of luxury marzipan chocolates or visit our Birmingham chocolate shop for our full range of luxury chocolates.