In the fourth season of Gilmore Girls (what? You know you watch it too) there's an episode wherein Emily and Richard Gilmore proffer marzipan which they allegedly obtain on a trip to Switzerland.
There's nothing really wrong with this, I mean I suppose one can buy marzipan in Switzerland, but if I'm remembering the episode right, they seemed to suggest it was fairly specific to that country.
That's not what I remember. When I traveled to Lübeck I remembered hearing a marzipan creation myth specific to that Hanseatic city. I think the way I heard it the city was under seige and all the Lübeckers were all like "what are we going to eat?" and someone else said, "here, lets put together all these almonds together with some sugar" and then a little girl was like "marzipan!" and there was much rejoicing.
And indeed, Lübeck is mentioned in connection with marzipan, but its origin seems not to be so simple. (Marzipan's origin, not Lübeck's. Everybody knows Lübeck and Leipzig were twins . . .) Marzipan may have come from Persia. We don't really know.
In reading up on marzipan, we found that the EU has mandated a 14% almond oil content. This is exciting because it seems that the EU is really good at mandating percentages for things with very little regard for tradition or taste.
For instance: organs. Not too long ago, the EU decided that nothing should be built with lead at all, and so good, historically-informed organs became basically impossible to build. Seeing Defending the Pipe Organ was instructive here.
And it was fun because it asked
what about the impact of the parallel WEEE Directive?
I don't think they mean a really small Scottish directive. I do think they should have spelled out this acronymn for us stupid Americans. I mean, I can barely keep up with EU (Eastern UnitedStatesofAmerica).
Those of us USA have a WEEE bit of trouble thinking of Marzipan as anything other than this lovely character.
E scale! Nice choice!
Even nicer on an organ made with 14% marzipan?
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