Once again, Angelo and Francesco have been hard at work carrying on a Sicilian tradition that is alive and well in Scarborough. Once again, Angelo and Francesco have been hard at work carrying on a Sicilian tradition that is alive and well in Scarborough. The craft of making these fruit seems so intricate, that it’s obvious it require years of skill and precision. Made by hand shaping marzipan (which is basically a ground almond paste), then air drying, then a combination of air spray food colouring and brushing of the same food colouring – and then a delicate blending of colours and shading for the finished product.
Now when we say fruit, it’s because the traditional shapes like oranges, bananas, tomatoes, corn, peaches, pears etc. were most common. In the display at Francesca Bakery you can find fish, seafood, eggplant, cherries, peppers and watermelon. It’s truly one of the most fascinating things to look at. Many a customers come in and gaze at this display throughout the season. Of course though, if you’re Italian, the marzipan fruit probably has a significantly deeper connection to your childhood, as many nonnas are know to throw have these fruits as a centrepiece on the dinning room table all season long.
Can you eat the marzipan fruit?
Well yes, of course you can. However, if you aren’t of Italian dissent then the strong flavour of a mouthful of almond paste is something to get used to, to be sure. If this is your first try with this Sicilian specialty, then take a single piece of fruit and slice it with a paring knife, and share with others that are as curious as you. In addition, they are so lovely to look at, nobody would blame you for keeping the nibblers away from the vibrant Holiday display, just so you can leave them out for guests to admire and chat about while visiting over the Holidays.
A quick backstory of the Christmas marzipan fruit:
The tradition of marzipan fruit began over 1000 years ago when the archbishop was visiting Sicily and the nuns made these fruits and hung them on trees to trick him into believing the fruits were growing when they were not in season. Angelo has kept this tradition alive every year. Come see our display and take some and create your own display!