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 Almonds Art and Technology"),
which is a national monument.
The 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.
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