Assorted  Verdun Dragee

Assorted Verdun Dragee

The mix of dragee contains hazelnut dragee, almond dragee, chocolate dragee, coffee dragee, raisin dragee and pistachio dragee. A classic form of dragée and comfit, Jordan almonds, also known as mlabas (ملبس, lit. "coated" or "covered") in Arabic, sugared almonds, confetti, or koufeta consist of almonds which are sugar panned in various pastel colors. Jordan almonds are often used as wedding favors—like the Italian Bomboniere—with the "bitter" almonds and the "sweet" sugar symbolizing the bitterness of life and sweetness of love. The treats are often packaged in groups of five to represent happiness, health, longevity, wealth, and fertility. At Italian and Greek weddings, the almonds are placed in groups of five, an odd number that is indivisible to symbolize the unity of husband and wife. In the Middle East, Jordan almonds are considered an aphrodisiac so there are always plenty on hand for the newlyweds and their guests. Jordan almonds are thought to originate in ancient Rome, where honey-covered almonds were introduced by a Roman baker and confectioner named Julius Dragatus. His confections were called dragati and were served by nobility at weddings and births. When sugar became more readily available in the 15th century, the nuts were coated in sugar instead. In Sulmona, Italy, the technique of creating the dragée almonds was perfected by the Pelino family. The term Jordan is most likely a corrupted version of the French word jardin, meaning "garden", hence, a cultivated rather than wild almond. However, others suggest the term referred to a variety of almonds originally grown along the Jordan River characterized by long, thin, slender, rather smooth kernels in thick, heavy shells. Still others believe that Jordan is a corruption of the name of the town of Verdun in the northeast of France. In the 13th century, when the medieval crusaders brought sugar to Europe after their campaigns in the Holy Land, it was very valuable and considered medicinal. During that time, an apothecary in Verdun began coating other medicines with sugar (calling them dragées) to make them easier to take. The town of Verdun became very well known for its dragées de Verdun

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