Made primarily of almonds and sugar, marzipan is a traditional dessert of many diaparate cultures. Originating in what is now modern-day Iran, marzipan was introduced to Europe during the Crusades and became a specialty of many European countries. The flower water is an optional ingredient, but a worthwhile one; the small amount of flower essence highlights the delicacy of the almond flavor without overwhelming it.
Marzipan is often rolled into thin sheets and used as icing on cakes, or dipped in chocolate and eaten as a holiday candy. Its extraordinary pliability also means that it has been used to make edible sculptures, often in the shape of birds, fruits, or vegetables. No less a master than Leonardo DaVinci used marzipan as a medium for expression; he is reputed to have been quite put out when the intricate marzipan sculptures he had created for the Milanese court were eaten, rather than being admired. "I have observed with pain," he wrote, "that my signor Ludovico and his court gobble up all the sculptures I give them, right to the last morsel, and now I am determined to find other means that do not taste as good, so that my works may survive.” The quotation above is from his Notes on Cuisine, written about 1470. How long Leonardo might have expected a combination of nuts and sugar to survive is debatable, but personally, I must side with the Milanese nobles in this case. Marzipan is that good.
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