Jordan Almonds

Jordan Almonds - The Popular Bittersweet Candied Confectionery

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Jordan almonds, also known as sugared almonds, confetti, dragées, or koufetta, are a type of sweet treat confectionery consisting of almonds covered with a candy coating. 

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Jordan almonds are generally either placed in bowls or packed in organza bags, tulle or small boxes.  Sometimes, the almonds are colour coded for specific events:

The countries with the most renowned traditions of using Jordan almonds are Italy, Greece and the Middle East.  These treats however are becoming rapidly popular in other countries including Canada and the USA.

Italian WeddingsIn Italy, five almonds (confetti) are always given to the bride and groom.  Each almond represents a wish for the lucky couple:  health, happiness, fertility, financial stability and a long life.  It is customary that the little sugar-coated candides present at every important occasion in Italian life.

Greek Weddings:  In Greece, the almonds (koufetta or dragées) are always given out in odd numbers to convey that they will share everything and remain undivided.  Traditionally, an unmarried woman will place an almond under her pillow and expect to dream of her future husband.

Middle Eastern Weddings:  In the Middle East, the almonds are considered aphrodisiacs, and are available for both guests and newleyweds at wedding receptions.  All of the traditions agree that the almonds themselves are bitter, but the coating is sweet, which is a hope that the life of the newleyweds will too be more sweet than bitter.

It is also customary to attach a little card or note with the almonds to explain the meaning to your guests.  Sample poem:

Jordan Almonds For Thee

Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat

To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet.

Five wishes for the new husband and wife,

Health, wealth, happiness, children and a long life!

 

The true start of Jordan Almonds was in the 15th Century, when the sugarcane was introduced to Europe.  During important marriages, such as the wedding of Lucrezia Borgia to the Duke of Ferrara, enough of the candided almonds were laid out at the banquet for all the guests to eat, approximately 260 pounds!

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