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Festivities, do you like marzipan?

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Post by Relaxez-Vous Mon Dec 06, 2021 11:09 pm

A festive thread.
Unless you already know there's more to marzipan than you might expect. I don't like marzipan, there again I do,

When I was a child selection boxes of chocolates would often have a marzipan one which I wouldn't eat. If I got one by accident I'd spit it out. The Christmas cake my mother made before icing would be covered in marzipan. At Easter she'd often make a Simnel cake which was also covered in marzipan. To enjoy any of these cakes I'd first have to remove all the marzipan. I also didn't like eating the brown almond nuts.. Approaching Christmas some years later my wife is making a Christmas cake but hasn't bought any marzipan, she makes her own with some ground almond, the cake and marzipan were delicious, the marzipan having a lovely nutty flavour. Over the years I've also come across German stollen and Austrian Mozart chocolates both contain marzipan which I avoid eating because of the flavour

I came to the conclusion that shop bought marzipan was made with whole brown almonds, that's why the marzipan had a horrible taste. I was wrong.

It was only recently during a chat over a meal at home did I lean from my son that marzipan is often not made with almonds, it is made from apricot and peach kernels, and should probably be called persipan.

Persipan from Wikipedia-
It is similar to marzipan but apricot or peach kernels are used instead of almonds. Persipan consists of 40% ground kernels and 60% sugar. The kernels have a strong bitter flavour caused by the presence of amygdalin, a toxic cyanogenic glycoside which has to be detoxified before the kernels can be used. The cores are normally not used otherwise, originally making persipan lower-priced than marzipan.

I'm learning that what I took to be marzipan all these past years was the cheaper persipan hence its bitter taste. Perhaps it's a by-product of them making tinned peaches where otherwise they'd throw the stones away. it's cheaper than 100% almond based marzipan. People have got so used to marzipan being bitter I've seen recipes for marzipan using ground sweet almonds having almond essence added to give it the bitter flavour people expect, with that added touch of cyanide. So if you don't like the bitter taste of marzipan it probably was persipan.

Last week we visited RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate and bought some mince pies from Betty's. I can confirm that their luxury mince pies though rather too sweet for me contain proper marzipan,


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Post by burlingtonboaby Tue Dec 07, 2021 5:29 am

For some reason my dad didn't like it, my mum always made a big traditional Christmas cake with a thick layer of marzipan,then icing on the top.
I would look forward to dad cutting of the marzipan and passing it over to me,what a treat, miss my dad.
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Last edited by burlingtonboaby on Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Askit Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:18 am

Love almonds and don't mind the occasional sweet treat but marzipan is the work of the devil  quick_run

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Post by burlingtonboaby Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:38 am

Askit wrote:Love almonds and don't mind the occasional sweet treat but marzipan is the work of the devil  quick_run
Nuts.   hugegrins
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Post by Paulmold Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:51 am

I don't eat nuts. Not allergic but just don't like the taste or texture of any nuts , peanuts, walnuts, almonds any of them. I can though eat marzipan in moderation, only on a Christmas cake . I'm the only one in the house that likes Christmas cake so we buy un-iced Christmas cake and have to read ingredients to make sure it contains no nuts.Hard to find without any nuts but Lidl do one that suits. As Carol isn't keen, it's all mine.

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Post by Suppersready Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:04 am

I shall have to sample some proper marzipan, sounds like I may have been missing out all these years. Macadamia nuts … now they are a nut to savour with a texture like no other.



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Post by Bobskate Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:05 am

As an aside I do not normally go to these cheap supermarkets that use copy cat packing to merely mimic established brands which they are not. However the Aldi luxury stollen is something to die for. Get it before it sells out! Oh and interesting item about marzipan. The  things you find out on this forum!
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Post by Bobskate Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:05 am

As an aside I do not normally go to these cheap supermarkets that use copy cat packing to merely mimic established brands which they are not. However the Aldi luxury stollen is something to die for. Get it before it sells out! Oh and interesting item about marzipan. The  things you find out on this forum!
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Post by Bobskate Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:08 am

Oops too eager pressing buttons and don’t know how to delete…where is your grandson when you need him?
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Post by IanH Tue Dec 07, 2021 10:30 am

Paulmold wrote:I don't eat nuts. Not allergic but just don't like the taste or texture of any nuts , peanuts, walnuts, almonds any of them. I can though eat marzipan in moderation, only on a Christmas cake . I'm the only one in the house that  likes Christmas  cake so we buy un-iced Christmas  cake and have to read ingredients to make sure it contains no nuts.Hard to find without any nuts but Lidl do one that suits. As Carol isn't keen, it's all mine.
A wee tip Paul....
If you don't like nuts try peanut butter, the smooth version, really nice and makes a great satay sauce...

However, it is also dual purpose.....

It is ace for restoring to black the plastic trim on your MH!!! Really is, no wind up, actually read it on here.

I may suggest though that if you like it for both uses it would be best not to use the same jar!!! hugegrins hugegrins hugegrins
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Post by TeamRienza Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:03 pm

Love marzipan and indeed the icing too. I am usually the recipient of those pieces that others don’t want as well, so double joy. I usually try to get those bits of cake from the outer edge so that you get marzipan (and icing) on the side as well as the top. Needless to say the icing and marzipan is separated and eaten in order.

The other thing I should mention is that the cake is eaten first and is a sort of necessary evil to get the marzipan at the end. This is a system my kids use on all food. Eat the stuff you don’t like first (usually the vegetables) and save the nice stuff till the end! I suspect they learned that from me as i subconsciously still do it.


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Post by burlingtonboaby Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:17 pm

If you like rich fruit cake, with a thick layer of marzipan and icing ,try Walkers Strathspey rich fruit cake, available from their website and some stores around the country.
The wife orders a some each year to hand to our neighbours for Christmas, still have one in the fridge.
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Post by petermcd Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:22 pm

Some friends of ours call Marzipan ‘Devils ear wax’ …. guess that says it all.
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Post by Relaxez-Vous Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:00 pm

It's a pity because it's likely they have never eaten proper marzipan made from ground almonds, only the cheaper apricot and peach kernel based persipan. It's one up to the food industry selling a cheap product with a hint of cyanide that many people have grown to expect and love, in particular it seems the Germans.

I believe Margaret Thatcher was responsible for air being pumped into ice cream, it makes it soft scoop so easier to serve from the freezer. Have you ever wondered why ice cream is sold by volume and not weight? That's because air has inflated its volume, the more soft scoop the ice cream is the more air you are buying.
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Post by Traficlady Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:49 am

I love marzipan.my grandmother and I used to buy a block and eat our way through it.

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Post by Cymro Sun Dec 12, 2021 10:42 am

I confess that I still do, Traficlady, much to the exasperation of my wife when she discovers that there's been a raid on her supplies!

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Post by Slow-Lane Mon Dec 13, 2021 8:52 am

God, I love marzipan!
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