Sugar-Coated Almonds
 
Sugar-coated almonds -also called Jordan almonds, koufeta, confetti or dragees, have been around for centuries. The ancient Greeks and Romans marked important celebrations such as birth and marriages with honey-sweetened almonds. With the introduction of sugarcane in the European kitchens of the 15th-century, almonds adopted the thin layer of sugar we are accustomed to today. Italians made their consumption even more popular when they started offering these confections in honor of engaged and newly married couples as a symbol of prosperity and five time-honored wishes: happiness, longevity, wealth, children, and health. This is the reason why sugar-coated almonds are still distributed in guest favors today in sets of 5. To The Greeks the indivisibility of the number 5 also shows that newlyweds will be partners for life.

The notion that sugar-coated almonds represent "the bitter and the sweet" in life is -by the way- untrue. Even in their earliest form, sugar-coated almonds were always considered a sweet and precious delicacy. Not a bitter one! The mistaken notion may have something to do with the inferior-tasting qualities that have permeated the American market in recent years.