For centuries, producing delicacies with almond paste was an expression of refinement and sophistication. One of the first recipes of Marzipans comes to us from a tenth-century Baghdadi cookbook, where they are called “Lawzinaj” (made from Lawz: Almond in Arabic). One recipe explicitly mentions that some were “sumptuous”, specifically made for kings to take them as gifts when they travel.
The current name Marzipan comes via Italian from Arabic mauthaban, “seated figure.” Marzipan originally came in fancy little boxes decorated with a picture of a Venetian gold coin. The candy took its name from the coin, which was an imitation of Arab coins showing a seated king, called mauthaban. In Lebanon, nuns from Aleppo introduced this urban delicacy to Mount Lebanon in the 18th century, especially to two monasteries in the Kisrawan areas, where ladies of great families were sent to dedicate their lives to prayers in seclusion behind the walls of the nunneries. The marzipan produced by the nuns since the 18th century is still to our days, the most celebrated in Lebanon.
Our marzipan is handmade by the nuns of Aramoun’s monastery, beautifully preserving this ancient dessert tradition that has always been at the heart of Lebanese festivities. Intricately shaped in rosebuds and crafted in almond paste, sugar, and rose water, these little delights encapsulate the taste of home.
The Kanz line of fresh natural products is handcrafted by the women of rural Lebanon. It aims at recovering Lebanon’s culinary heritage while empowering rural communities. Kanz features collaborations with Lebanese star chefs, promoting the Lebanese “Mouneh” as a global first-class culinary art. All proceeds go to Beit el Baraka.