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The marzipan from Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat

Illustration picture | Orangeaurochs / CC-BY
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This little golden cake is made with eggs whites, sugar and almonds powder. The current recipe was created in 1899, by a baker from Saint-Léonard, Camille PetitJean, based on an old medieval recipe.

The massepain name ("marzipan") comes from massa ("pastry") and panis ("bread"): Italians call it marzapane and Germans marzipan. Anyway, the marzipan was a pretty special sweet, in the Middle-Ages, made for rich people only. They made it with almonds, nuts, pine kernels, pistachios and sugar. Olivier de Serres, in his book Théâtre d’agriculture, book I, chapter 8, talked about a "marzipan pie", made with almonds flavoured with rose water. The recipe from Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat comes from Compostela’s pilgrims. A pretty old recipe!

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I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!