Legend has it that Lübeck marzipan was invented during a famine in 1407.
The warehouses in the Hanseatic city of Lübeck had nothing left in them apart from almonds and sugar, which the people of Lübeck used to make „marci panis“ – or marzipan. Another explanation of how it got its name lies in the term „Marzapane“, which was used in Naples and Sicily in the 13th century to mean „little box“, the meaning of which was transferred from the containers used to transport the confectionery to the contents itself.
Marzipan originated in the Middle East, where the delicate blend of almonds and sugar was primarily served at royal palaces. As a result of the Crusades, it was brought to Europe via the trading port of Venice. Initially, marzipan was produced by apothecaries in Europe, and was used as a natural remedy well into the 18th century. In 1996, this once coveted dessert was given protected status by the European Commission – along with two other classic German delicacies: spicy Printen from Aachen and gingerbread from Nuremberg. More: German Food Specialties
Among other things, this EU-wide protection guarantees that these specialities are produced according to a specific recipe.
Lübeck Marzipan, for example, is made from 70 per cent almond paste and 30 per cent sugar. According to German food regulations, standard marzipan can be made up of equal quantities of almond paste and sugar. And, although confectionery is not usually regarded as „healthy“ food, eating moderate amounts of almonds, even in the form of marzipan, can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Almonds are made up of about 25 per cent protein, around twelve per cent fibre and 50 per cent „good“ fats, which can help to lower cholesterol. Scientific studies have shown that a 30g portion of marzipan with around 160 calories contains mono and polyunsaturated fats, the antioxidant vitamin E, proteins, fibre, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron. Almonds are also rich in folic acid as well as vitamins B1, B2 and B6, which are needed to break down carbohydrates into energy and conduct stimuli in the nervous system..
Website: Niederegger Lübeck Marzipan: Niederegger Lübeck – (niederegger.de/en/)