Marzipan – a treasure for caliphs and royalty
Marzipan – a treasure for caliphs and royalty
Marzipan originates from the Middle East and used to be flavoured with rose water or orange blossoms. This specialty was a delicacy served at caliphs' tables as early as 965 BC.
The name marzipan is a combination of the words "mautaban" (Arabic) and "Marci panis" (Marcus bread, Italian).
As a result of the Arabic invasion of Spain and Portugal marzipan also became known in Europe. At that time, this specialty was exclusively reserved for kings and rulers.
While almond paste was initially manufactured and sold by pharmacists because they held the spice monopoly, soon confectionary manufacturers also began with its production. Up to the 19th century, however, almond paste remained a luxury product.
It was only when sugar started to be produced from sugar beets rather than from the more expensive sugar cane, that marzipan began to be more widely distributed.
Manufacture of marzipan paste
It is one of the manufacturing processes that reconcile tradition, modernity and quality. As you would expect, the production involves a great deal of know-how, many years of experience, marked quality awareness, state-of-the-art production engineering and the use of choice raw materials and ingredients.
Before the marzipan paste is made, the raw aromatic almonds are processed freshly in-house with their skin. They are then cleaned and blanched in hot water so that the loosened brown skin can be removed in huskers with pairs of rotating rubber rollers.
Electronic sorting machines winnow out sub-standard almonds, with additional personnel removing any remaining sub-standard almonds by hand.
Every marzipan manufacturer naturally has recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation. These recipes, which are subject to strict regulations, are stored in the modern, computer-controlled systems. The almonds, sugar and water are automatically weighed, crushed and mixed according to these product recipes.
Then, the paste is gently heated to 100°C and held at this temperature for a certain period. After controlled cooling, the marzipan paste is kneaded with icing sugar to make fine marzipan and carefully packed.
Manufacture of a marzipan figure
Our marzipan is made on state-of-the-art production machinery and lovingly shaped and painted by hand.
In the marzipan kitchen, various types of sugar and almonds are mixed together and processed to make moulding marzipan. Then, the moulding marzipan is pressed into the various moulds. The figures are released from the moulds by hand.
Special tools are used to clean up the edges before the eyes are pressed in and the contours drawn, all done by hand – the figure begins to come to life. After moulding, the figure arrives in the painting area. Our example shows a mouse with cheese being brought to life.
All the colours, brushes, piping bags, etc. are made ready at the work station.
First, the mouse is given its red cheeks with the aid of a fine brush..
After the red cheeks, the black-edged ears are added.
An airbrush is used to give the mouse its slightly pink ears and traditional grey colour.
The mouse is allowed to dry for a short time and …
is given its white and black spots for eyes and nose with the aid of a piping bag and …
...finally its red tongue.
The next stage is to mould the cheese – again by hand. Small balls of marzipan are pressed into a plastic mould.
The piece of cheese is moistened and …
...stuck to the mouse.
The cute marzipan mice with their pieces of cheese are now finished.
Now it’s off to the packing area.
Each individual mouse is carefully placed in the bag by hand.
The bags are heat-sealed.
Each mouse is given its ingredients list and placed in the made-to-measure carton.
Once the carton has also been labelled, the mice are ready for dispatch.
Live healthily with marzipan
At approximately 450 kcal per 100g, marzipan is rich in energy. Depending on the marzipan recipe and almond content, the composition of protein, fat and carbohydrates may change. The fat and protein contained in marzipan are derived from almonds, which are very valuable from a nutritional and physiological point of view.
Almonds contain approx. 54% almond oil, which is mainly made up of healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Almonds contain dietary fibres and minerals important for a balanced diet.
Marzipan contains no harmful trans fats, or more precisely trans fatty acids (TFA)! Moreover, in its natural form, marzipan is alcohol-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian and vegan.