Marzipan Creams are our Item of the Month at Branson’s Chocolates in July. Marzipan is a sweet paste made of finely ground almonds and sugar or honey, and often flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, or lemon. It is a traditional European treat eaten like candy, often molded into fruit shapes, sometimes dipped in chocolate. Our Marzipan Creams start with our classic cream recipe, stir in almond paste, and then dip it all in our delicious rich semi-sweet chocolate.
Across the world, Marzipan has many variations. In Latin America, the almonds are replaced by peanuts, and they call it Mazapan. In Mexico, pine nuts and pistachios are substituted for the almonds. In the Middle East, Marzipan is usually flavored with orange-flower water.
Marzipan treats have an ancient history. Legend has it that during a 15th century famine when flour became scarce, bakers created a replacement using eggs, sugar, and stores of almonds. In Germany and throughout much of northern Europe it is considered good luck to receive a Marzipan pig on Christmas or New Year’s Day. Marzipan is a traditional food to eat on weddings and religious feast days in Italy, Greece, and Cyprus.
But don’t think that Marzipan is only for European history buffs with a sweet tooth. People everywhere love Marzipan so much that it has its very own holiday—January 12th is National Marzipan Day. Marzipan is even the name of a character in the Nutcracker ballet. How sweet is that?
We won’t be out and about in July, so come see us in the store at 1662 Siskiyou Boulevard here in Ashland. We’re just a block south of 7-11, in the Minute Market shopping center. We’re open Monday-Friday 10-6, and Saturday 11-5. If you’re lucky, you might even catch us dipping and pouring chocolate!
You can find Branson’s Chocolates on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and at bransonschocolates.com for online chocolate shopping.
We will be closed on July 4th, come join us in celebrating our nation’s independence. Ashland puts on quite a party for the Fourth of July, starting with a hometown parade and ending with a fantastic fireworks display. Happy Fourth of July to you!
(Thanks to www.seriouseats.com/2010/12/marzipan-history-what-is-it-almonds.html andwww.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/marzipan .)