Those delicious little sugar-coated almonds you receive at weddings, baby showers, or other major life events have a deep-rooted meaning a lot of people don’t know about. Did you know Jordan Almonds date back to ancient Rome? Why are they called Jordan Almonds? Are they from Jordan? While the history of these sugar-coated masterpieces is over 700 years old, we have come to find a few consistencies which we can all agree on.
Jordan Almonds are often referred to as dragée. The term dragee means to coat something in sugar to take away it’s bitterness, hence Jordan almonds consist of "bitter" almonds and the "sweet" sugar which is meant to symbolize the bitterness of life yet the sweetness of love. It represents a balance and harmoniousness of marriage.
Have you ever wondered why they come in bundles of five?
At Italian and Greek weddings, the almonds are placed in groups of five, an odd number that is not divisible to whole numbers to symbolize the unity of husband and wife. The Greek refer to Jordan Almonds as “koufeta” while the Arabic call them “mlabas”.
The quantity of five represents the following wishes of the newlywed’s journey as a couple.
In the Middle East, Jordan almonds are also considered an aphrodisiac as well as a symbol of fertility to the new bride.
Jordan almonds are believed to have originated in ancient Rome, where almonds were covered in honey by a Roman baker and confectioner by the name of Julius Dragatus. His confections were called dragati and were served by wealthy aristocrats at weddings and child births.
The term Jordan is most likely a variation 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.
Have you heard of any other stories or tales on Jordan Almonds? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments section below!