Monday, September 12th, 2011...12:00 am

Marzipan – An Almond Delicacy

Photo taken by TheGardenLady’s daughter at the Marzipan Museum. Everything in the photo is made out of marzipan.

My favorite candy is marzipan. I am in love with this candy made out of almonds. I think marzipan is more popular in Europe than it is in the United States. Each country you visit in Europe makes its own marzipan. Even though marzipan is made basically the same way, there is a difference in marzipan from country to country.

Photo taken by TheGardenLady’s daughter at the Marzipan Museum. Everything in the photo is made out of marzipan.

What is the difference between marzipan and almond paste? I thought that what Europeans referred to as marzipan, Americans or English speaking people also called Almond paste. I always thought they were the same. But apparently there is some debate which depends upon how it is made. For a discussion of the difference you can read what this website has to say; plus read their recipe to make marzipan at home.

My favorite marzipan is made in Denmark. But the Danish marzipan that I think is the world’s best is only made in one tiny pastry shop in Copenhagen. The pastry shop or conditori is called La Glace.  Their marzipan is ambrosial. Friends used to send me their chocolate covered marzipan with a creamy chocolate core every year. One year a favorite cousin who is Danish said that she would get me some Marzipan. I told her about LaGlace. I couldn’t believe it: she, a Dane, had never heard of this wonderful shop. So she went looking and found this marvelous conditori on a side street off the famous Copenhagen shopping avenue. She wasn’t sure which of their marzipan products I loved because they have a list of marzipan recipes that go back to the first day this cafe and candy/cake shop first opened over 140 years ago. And they are willing to make some of their old recipes if a customer requests it. She chose one recipe and what she brought back for me was also scrumptious.

Photo taken by TheGardenLady’s daughter at the Marzipan Museum. Everything in the photo is made out of marzipan.

TheGardenLady is a garden blog, you say, so why is TheGardenLady writing about marzipan? Because marzipan is made of almonds. You may be lucky enough to have your own almond tree or you might want to raise your own almond tree. Depending on the variety, some almond trees grow in USDA hardy temperature zones as low as zone 6 ( some say zone 5) and up to zone 10.  See here.  For ornamental use, they have lovely flowers in the spring. Almonds have great nutritional value; they are high in vitamin B and protein. One cup of shelled almonds contains 26 grams of protein, 77 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 332 milligrams of calcium, and small amounts of vitamins B, and B2, iron, and niacin.

Also, I am writing this column because you can create flowers out of marzipan or almond paste. Marzipan can be dyed with vegetable dyes and used like clay to make figurines or flowers. To make roses, watch this YouTube video.

After my daughter left Greece, she went to Budapest where she discovered a Marzipan Museum. I am writing today’s column to show some of the marzipan flowers in the Marzipan Museum. She brought me a chocolate covered marzipan candy with an apricot in the center.

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1 Comment

  • This brought back such wonderful memories of visiting pastry shops with my mother in Germany. They used a LOT of Marzipan. It’s such a distinctive flavor–I haven’t had it in years.

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