The Germans have contributed some lovely and tasty things to our culture. One of the best, in my humble opinion, is marzipan.
It’s simple stuff, just confectioner’s sugar and almond paste. The history of it is varied- the way some people tell it, it was the result of the great almond… um, famine. It could also be Arabic in origin.
The best marzipan is said to come from Lubeck. Niederegger is the best known manufacturer and the candy they make is so famous that the brand name of “Lubecker” attached to the company’s product is protected by law! My grandmother, German by birth, always gave us marzipan pigs for good luck at Christmas. We saved ours as long as we could, but in the end them pigs was good eatin’!
I bought these candies at a shop in Auburn, but my favorite place to buy them around here is at a fantastic gourmet shop in Harvard Square. And here’s a recipe if you want to make some authentic “marchpane”.
Marzipan is Christmas in Germany. But who says Christmas is only for Germans (or once a year for that matter)?