History of Sugared Almonds
is spring and a lot of young couples decide to get married.
Nobody celebrates that special event without sugared
almonds date back to the days of the Romans, who
used to celebrate weddings and births with them.
Obviously those sugared almonds were not made by
using the same ingredients as the ones used today:
in fact, honey replaced sugar. You can find pieces
of news about sugared almonds in some works about
the Fabi family (447 B.C.) and in the works by Apicio
(37 A.D.), a friend of Emperor Tiberio.
Modern sugared almonds started to be produced in
Sulmona in the fifteenth century: that is confirmed
by some documents dating back to 1492-1493 preserved
in the City Archives. In addition Sulmona is the
leader in the artistic production of sugared almonds.
In fact, in the fifteenth century the nuns who lived
in the Convent of St Chiara used sugared almonds,
tied up with silk threads, to make flowers, bunches,
ears and rosaries. Still today Sulmona is without
any doubts the birthplace of sugared almonds. In
Sulmona you can even visit the "Museo dell'Arte
e della Tecnologia Confettiera" ("Museum
of Sugared Almond Art and Technology"), which
is a national monument .
most important firms producing sugared almonds in
Sulmona are Di Carlo firm, dating back to 1833,
and Pelino firm, which is the most ancient and the
one gaining prizes all over the world; in addition
it is the only firm that does not exploit starch
in the production of sugared almonds, thus following
the most ancient recipes.
typical sugared almond is made up of an inner core
called "anima" (soul), consisting of a
shelled, peeled whole Pizzuta-of-Avola-type almond.
It is coated with superimposed layers of sugar through
several soakings. The sugared almond keeps the shape
of an almond seed, i.e. it is very flat with no
speckles and cracks. The outer coat is smooth, white
with porcelain glints. The sugared almond's size
and weight vary according to the almond's size.
The sugared almond's "anima" can also
be made of other kinds of ingredients, e.g. hazelnut,
cinnamon, chocolate, pieces of candied fruit, pistachio,
nuts coated with sugar and/or chocolate. In those
cases shape and size of sugared almonds will depend
on their "anima". Machines called "bassine"
are used to coat almonds with sugar: almonds and
sugar are worked together in copper or steel caldrons
sugared almond's outer colouring dates back to more
modern times. It varies according to the kind of
ceremony, happy event or important anniversary that
is celebrated: e.g., for Weddings, First Communion
and Confirmation the sugared almonds are white;
they are light blue or pink for Baptism; they are
green for engagements; the ones used to celebrate
degrees are usually red; finally the sugared almonds
used to celebrate birthdays are multicoloured.
di Rossana e Daniela
Corso Ovidio, 227
L'Arte del Confetto
di Nicole Natale
Corso Ovidio, 175
Il Mercatino del Turista
di Rossana e Daniela
Piazza dell'Annunziata, 9
67039 - Sulmona AQ
ABRUZZO - ITALY