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Tradition and History of Jordan Almonds


Fresh almonds have a bittersweet taste, which represents life. The sugarcoating is added with the hope that the newlyweds' life will be more sweet than bitter.

ITALIAN WEDDINGS Five almonds signify five wishes for the bride and groom: health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity. These almonds decorate each place setting as favors, tucked into pretty boxes or tulle bags called *bomboniere* that are often personalized with the couple's names and wedding date.

GREEK WEDDINGS Sugarcoated almonds in traditional Greek weddings are called *koufeta*. They are placed in little bags in odd numbers and are served on a silver tray. Odd numbers are indivisible, symbolizing how the newlyweds will share everything and remain undivided. Tradition holds that if an unmarried woman puts the almonds under her pillow, she'll dream of her future husband.

MIDDLE EASTERN WEDDINGS Candy-covered almonds, or mlabas, are considered aphrodisiacs and are always on hand at weddings and other important celebrations.

A SWEET IDEA ! Jordan Almonds make great wedding favors -- wrap a cluster in tulle tied with ribbon, pack a few in boxes (made of sugar, straw, paper, metal, or plastic), stuff some in decorative bags, or pour a handful into champagne glasses or glass bowls. Attach a little card with a note explaining the almonds' meaning (so guests know they're not just an intermezzo between the salad and the filet mignon).

Consider using this Jordan Almonds poem:

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!



Tradition suggests using five Jordan Almonds for each guest.

One to signify health, one for wealth, one for longevity, one for fertility and one for happiness.

Traditional colors are:

White for Weddings

Silver for 25th Anniversaries...or at Weddings to look forward to the 25th!

Gold for 50th Anniversaries...or at Weddings to look forward to the 50th!

Blue or Pink for Christenings and Baby Showers

Red for Graduations

Green for Engagements

Now, all colors are match the wedding color theme, cultural backgrounds, or just the marrieds favorite colors!

... smooth, textured, spherical, oval, teardrop, heart-shaped... with centers of almonds... in party favors, flower arrangements, fruits baskets and other constructions of the confectioner's art and imagination. These are just a few of the myriad colors, tastes and shapes of jordan almonds, the little sugar-coated candies present at every important occasion!

 Early Almond-Making Equipment


In their most classic form they are exactly the candies known as sugared almonds, "Jordan almonds" or dragees. The generic name "confetti" has nothing to do with the French and English word "confetti", bits of colored paper, translated into Italian as "coriandoli". For the origin of confetti we must look back to the ancient Romans, who celebrated births and marriages with the distant ancestors of today's confetti. But until the renaissance they - and other sweets - were made with honey. The introduction of sugarcane into European kitchens in the 15th century marked the beginning of the modern era for confetti. In the renaissance, as in antiquity, confetti were not just for ceremonial use. They were real sweetmeats made of candied fruits, or, as we learn from a manuscript of 1504, with almonds, dried fruits, aromatic seeds, hazelnuts, pine nuts or cinnamon, covered with a hard coating of sugar. And they were habitually served not only at wedding banquets but also at many important meals.

We find the first literary attestation of confetti in Boccaccio's Decameron in the 1350's. The earliest testimonies of the high status and near-ritual use of confetti come from the late middle age and Renaissance. In 1487, according to chronicles of the period, more than two hundred and sixty pounds of confetti were consumed at the banquet held the day after the wedding of Lucrezia Borgi and Alfonso D'Este. son of Ercole I, Duke of Ferrara. The use of confetti really began to spread through Italy during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when the first "modern" confetti factories appeared.

Today,  workers produce the little sweets on machines that recall the past. Jordan Almonds are made through a four-day-long process that will never be completely industrialized. First, the centers of the almonds are covered with sugar without the addition of starch which would make them heavy and affect the flavor.

After having been peeled in a special machine, the almonds are put in large rotating basins: liquefied sugar is poured in gradually in order to lightly coat the almonds. At the end of the day, the almonds must rest until the next morning when operations resume.

The artisan production of Jordan Almonds remains a labor of love requiring constant attention to detail. The result is a confection beyond compare, and the continuation of a centuries-old wedding tradition.


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