Sugared almonds are classic sweet typical of fairs, festivals, and special events of our communities.
In many country fairs, there are always street stalls selling them alongside caramel apples, cotton candy, or coconut pieces.
Over the years, there is more and more variety and innovation, and, currently, in addition to sugared almonds, we can find sesame and other sugar-coated nuts and seeds which are also gourmet candy on the shelves. However, what do you know about sugared almonds?
Gourmet Sugared Almonds
These simple sweet almonds, which originally only consisted of caramelised nuts, have a long history. There is evidence that, as early as the 16th century, master confectioners prepared them in some convents.
If you want to make them at home, choose an excellent raw almond and always with its skin. Preparing homemade sugared almonds will not take you more than 30 minutes, but during that half-hour, don't take your eyes off them. Keep in mind that if the sugar burns, something that happens in just a few seconds, the sugared almonds will become bitter, and not very nice to eat.
The History of Gourmet Sugared Almonds
The Egyptians gave their guests five sweet almonds as a symbol of health, fertility, luck, wealth, and happiness.
Later on, people who attended a wedding received gourmet candy. These were a thank you for their blessings to the bride and groom. This tradition started in Europe with the sugared almonds favours "Bomboniere".
Today, the tradition of giving almonds isn't that widespread anymore, especially in anglophone countries. There, many brides still give favours a "souvenir" to their guests, but these can be anything. In Italy and other European countries, their name is "confetti". These are sugared almonds but with a spun sugar shell. They are still very popular for weddings, christenings, first communions and other events.
Choosing the favours for your event can be difficult. Therefore, sugared almonds are always here to save the day.
The fruit of the beautiful almond tree, has a delicate flavour and is very versatile. Its cultivation dates back to prehistoric times, with California (United States), Spain, and Italy being its main producers. Other countries who produce it are bathed by the Mediterranean, such as Portugal, and then Iran, Afghanistan, and Australia.
The almond belongs to the same family as the apricot, the cherry, etc. differing from these in that its fruit is hard. It does not do very well in very cold climates, where it forcefully refuses to bloom. Almonds love sun, and they grace tropical and subtropical springs with their beautiful white flowers. During the harvest, the trees are swayed until the green seeds fall on large canvases stretched out on the ground: female fruits (double-pitted) become confectionery, while the larger males are perfect for roasting or salting.
Giving Gourmet Sugared Almonds
The almonds would be equivalent to the sweets you received in a bag at your friends' parties when you were little. Thus, the sugar-coated nuts have become so famous that they are distributed at weddings to thanking guests for their attendance.
While these used to be quite plain, now master confectioners can create sugared almonds with a variety of unique and interesting flavours. They come in various colours too, to align with the event's decoration, and you can also pack them in different, more elegant ways.