I’m such an addicted reader that if I don’t have anything such as a book, newspaper, magazine, I will read whatever there is available, notices, signs, packages, wrappers… yes if I’ve unwrapped something I might very well read the ingredients, even in other languages. I’m leaning Danish at the moment for no specific reason (except that I do watch a lot of Danish TV series) and it’s fun to look at ingredients of something, or instructions to make it and see how much I understand. What is
At this time of year the shops and supermarkets are obviously full of Christmassy things, and all sorts of unusual edibles which are so tempting. Despite me not having a sweet tooth in general, I love Christmas fare, especially mince-pies, and in more recent years, all the continental goodies which supermarkets sell. Stollen, lebkuchen – both sorts, honigkuchen and pfefferkuchen, marzipan – all those less sweet, nutty, almondy, spicy yummy items which sometimes don’t make it home from the shops intact. This is what happened to some lebkuchen yesterday, honestly, I have no idea how it came about, its an absolute mystery to me, but somehow the packet we had just bought was open and we discovered that there were two missing, and a lot of crumbs down our coats!!
Trying to resit the four other lebkuchen which were winking at me, I read the ingredients on the back of the packet and came across persipan. What on earth is that? Is it a translation of marzipan? Is it some spice I have never heard of? Is it an ingredient which enhances flavour or prolongs shelf-life? In fact persipan is like marzipan but instead of being made from ground almonds, it’s made from the ground kernels of peaches or apricots. As children we had a peach tree in our garden which bore beautiful white peaches, but sadly not many of them, and sadly it was overwhelmed by a peach tree killer and had to be cut down. Was it me, or was it my dad who cracked open the kernel to reveal an almond shaped ‘nut’ inside? Who now knows but it looked like an almond and tasted rather like an almond but stronger in flavour. Occasionally I’ve had fresh apricots and the ‘stone’ inside has been split and I’ve found and eaten the kernel so when I realised what persipan was, I wasn’t surprised. With dried apricots now being so popular what might have seen a waste product has now been used to produce something else. In fact, it as become so widely used that there is now a shortage of the apricot stones.
Here is some further information: