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National Marzipan Day (January 12)

Check out the weird holiday National Marzipan Day on January 12. Learn the history of National Marzipan Day & get ideas on how to celebrate.

One weird holiday on January 12 is National Marzipan Day. Check out the other weird January holidays!

History of National Marzipan Day

Marzipan is a treat made of sugar (or honey) and almond meal (aka, ground almonds), along with almond extract for accented flavor. With a play-doh type of consistency, it is perfect for making novelty shapes and figures to decorate cakes.

It’s believed that marzipan originates from Persia (although others think it comes from China, or even Spain). There is evidence to support all of these theories.

No matter where it comes from, most agree that marzipan was brought into Europe by the Turks through trade routes around 1000 AD. A trade federation of towns (as opposed to people) called the Hanseatic League transported large amounts of marzipan.

The towns of Lubeck and Tallinn are extremely proud of their history and tradition of marzipan manufacturing, and the quality and almond content of their marzipan recipes are taken quite seriously in the present day.

In 1300, Venice began the typical recipe of using sugar and almonds as the base for marzipan. Marzipan is made by cleaning and blanching raw almonds, then removing their skins with rotating cylinders. Then the almonds are chopped coarsely and ground into a paste with 35% of sugar. Then they are further roasted a cooled, and a binding agent is added to give it its flexible texture.

Around 1413, marzipan was first shaped into fruit by the nuns of the convent of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio. Nowadays, martizpan is used for so many things: cakes (including wedding cakes), fake fruits, chocolate-filled marzipan, and more.

Ideas for National Marzipan Day

Here are some fun ideas for using marzipan today.

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