Food for Thought: A Short History of Marzipan 8 years ago

Food for Thought: A Short History of Marzipan

We need food to survive, to nourish us and to keep us fit as a fiddle. But what exactly is the history behind the food and drink.

This week we’re bringing you the story behind "Marzipan."


It’s believed that the sweet delicacy’s ingredients originated in Iran and were introduced throughout Europe by the Turkish people.

From there, it’s disputed who popularized it, though Germany is often mentioned.

The word “Mataban” (box) gradually came into use for the contents of the box which translated across Europe as Mazapane (Italian), Massepain (French) and Marzipan (German).

The first people to consume marzipan were royalty and the rich rather than the poor. The figures made from marzipan sugar paste and jellies were presented at the end of a medieval feast.


Lübeck in Germany has often been described as the capital of marzipan and in the 1950s, the sweet confectionary became an everyday sweet item.

In 1974, eight manufacturers formed the Lubecker Marzipan Association with the aim to preserve their reputation of producing quality marzipan in the area.

These days, marzipan is no longer considered a luxury item and is used across the world.



Pic via Wikimedia Commons