Handcrafted marzipan from Toledo
- Castile-La Mancha
Marzipan is a very typical sweet in our country. Its popularity increases during the Christmas season due to the traditional figurines that are created with this almond paste. This product is made mainly in the province of Toledo and can take a variety of forms.
There are several possibilities for the origins of marzipan. Some put its origins in China. From there it was passed to the Middle East and the Arabic Empire introduced it to our lands. In Toledo, one of the main production centres, its origins are attributed to the nuns of the convent of San Clemente: following one of the famines that often affected the population, they created a dough with the only products that they had in their food stores: almonds and sugar. Marzipan is understood to be the paste, cooked or raw, obtained from the mixture of raw peeled almonds and sugar. The varieties of almonds used are: marcona, largeta and planeta, originally from Valencia and the Balearic Islands. The resulting dough is used to make a wide variety of sweets, some of which are filled with 'cabello de ángel' (pumpkin strands in syrup), cream, or even dipped in chocolate. The most well known are the marzipan figurines or the 'Saint's bones' (filled marzipan rolls). 'Pan de Cadiz', 'marquesas' (marzipan and egg sweet), and so on are also made.
- The production season for marzipan begins in the middle of October, when the 'Saint's bones' (sweet typically eaten on 1 November) are prepared, and lasts through the middle of December. Marzipan consumption is seasonal, with the Christmas season being the high point.
- The main production centres of marzipan are those in the province of Toledo, especially the towns of Ajofrín, Carpio de Tajo, Consuegra, Gálvez, La Mata and the city of Toledo.
- Dessert or sparkling wines.
- Toledo marzipan
- Marzipan from Toledo is sold in a variety of forms, but the base ingredients are always the same: almonds and sugar. Later, it may be filled or even dipped in chocolate. The marzipan sweets available on the market include:
- 'Pan de Cádiz' Imperial marzipan:
- Stuffed marzipan sponge cake.
- Similar to madeleines, but made with marzipan and egg.
- Marzipan eel:
- Base of marzipan filled with sweetened custard, moulded in the shape of an eel and decorated with sweets on top by way of eyes, mouth etc..
- Marzipan figures:
- Base of almonds and sugar in various shapes (duck, snail, pig, etc.).
- 'Huesos de santo' (Saints' bones):
- Little marzipan rolls stuffed with pumpkin strands in syrup, custard, etc..
- High carbohydrate content.