Saturday, 5 January 2013

Santo Tome's Gift of Sweetness

Marzapan of all kinds from a shop in Toledo (Not Santo Tome!)

The marzipan I know, from my part of the world, the Philippines, is made from pili nuts, condensed milk and honey or sugar. These are delicious bars of honey colored sweets. A favorite pasalubong from the Bicol region.

But here, in Confiserie Santo Tome, hailed as the best Marzipan in Toledo, Spain's marzipan center, the marzipans are a big step up.

Take this shiny bright orange Santo Tome marzipan:

Let's bite into it.

Yum! It is sweet with an unexpected orange taste.

First, a nutty creaminess, with a slight anise punch. This is the mazapan "orange peel". Sweet but mild, it is delicious. But this is just the icing in the cake.

We bite deeper, and the flavor layers explode into our joyful mouths: The mazapan cracks into a thin dark chocolate shell, smooth, with some bitterness.

As the chocolate shatters, a rush of liquid tartness surprises --- artisanal natural orange preserve, sour and only ever so slightly sweet.

At about 1.6€ each, these fruit marzipans are too pricey (and calorie rich) to be good for you. Still, some not so good things are good for you in small doses. And this marzipan is an indulgence worth the hundred or so calories.

Postscript: Seeing these mazapans makes me hope that our equally artistic and capable marzipan makers in the Philippines, drawing inspiration from Santo Tome, could spin out new marzipan creations such as these.

Confiserie Santo Tome
The main confiserie is along Santo Tome in Toledo, Spain with a few more outposts around the city center. Once you're in Toledo you will not miss Confiserie Santo Tome or its ubiquitous pink and white paper bags filled with goodies carried by most tourists in Toledo

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