As simple as it is irreplaceable, the Marzipan It is a classic of the Spanish Christmas gastronomy from time immemorial. And rare is the home in which, if only by tradition, the figurines are not included in the trays of sweets that are taken out after each meal.
Accompanied by Jijona nougat, of Alicante nougat and of the typical polvorones, marzipan pieces continue to be among diners’ favorites. Of course, not all have the same flavor or are equally delicious, since, although we are talking about a sweet whose recipe is not particularly complicated, the mastery of the workshop a good part of the final result depends.
From Toledo and from Soto
In our country the most famous marzipans are those of Toledo and those of Soto (in La Rioja). The first of them is the best known and the one that is usually on any table at Christmas. So much so that it even received the category of Protected Geographical Indication in 2002. All marzipan made in the province of Toledo can be included in this IGP, although the Regulatory Council will determine if they comply quality standards adequate.
As for Soto’s, it has the denomination La Rioja Quality since 1989 and is characterized by presenting some differences with respect to traditional marzipan, since its recipe includes lemon essence, some bitter almond and a wafer base (it is also given a syrup bath).
Where to buy the best
But let’s move on to the places where we can get hold of pieces of marzipan that will invite us to repeat for the good quality of its ingredients and its unique flavor.
Convent of San Clemente
We started with this convent because its nuns have been making marzipan for centuries. In fact, one of the theories about the origin of marzipan it comes to us from within its walls. And it is that after Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, hunger spread throughout the region, so the nuns came up with mixing sugar with almonds so that both foods were better preserved and it was a success. This tradition has endured and you can still buy marzipan made in this convent keeping the original recipe.
Obrador and the Confectionery Santo Tomé
It is one of the bakeries where the best marzipans are made in all of Toledo and, therefore, in Spain. Its origin dates back to 1856, the year since its products were made “by hand, without adding anything that would detract from the special flavor of marzipan.” On Saint tome they boast of rejecting any kind of preservatives in order to offer fresh and natural products, using Levantine almonds, refined sugar, pure honey from La Alcarria and eggs from farms near the workshop.
In Toledo we also find another centenary company. Not in vain, from the year 1806 the deeds of the property acquired in the Zocodover Square. Of course, it was in 1907 when Telesphorus of the Fountain renewed the business that has lasted to this day and is characterized by the quality of its marzipan. As has happened with other workshops, Saint Telesphorus It no longer only creates its products in the original premises, but it does so in larger facilities in the nearby town of Olías del Rey.
Plaza Mayor pastry shop
We leave Toledo and arrive in nearby Madrid, where there are also places to find the best marzipan in Spain. One of them is the Plaza Mayor artisan workshop, where they pride themselves on using 100% natural ingredients and making “marzipan with a traditional recipe that uses the best almonds, (whole marcona almonds, and it is at the time of their elaboration when we proceed to crush them, so that all their organoleptic characteristics of color, flavor and smell are preserved) ”.
Also in Madrid, on Calle Mayor, we find another bakery where to find an outstanding product. In this case we refer to The Riojano, founded in 1855 by Queen Maria Cristina of Hagsburg’s personal pastry chef, Damaso Maza, a native of La Rioja. In this place we not only find good marzipan, but there are all kinds of sweets which can be enjoyed accompanied by a coffee at one of the tables in its tea room.
Bakery Oven San Onofre
Another of the most famous bakeries in the capital is Saint OnofreAlso very popular for the roscones de reyes that he bakes every year at Christmas time. In addition to the traditional marzipan, they have specialized in the modality of steep or panallets, which, as the name suggests, include raw pine nuts surrounding the almond part.
Soto Segura marzipan
If we talk about Soto marzipan, This is one of the companies which best products offer. The adventure that began at the beginning of the 20th century in Cameros area has led to Safe to move to Logroño, from where it supplies excellent marzipan to the rest of Spain … and the world.