This Little Piggy Went to Market

This Little Piggy Went to Market

And, oh, she saw many wonderful things!

But a question arose, or many…

Why, she said, is the sky?

Why do these piggies swim with crocodiles?


That just seems like a very dangerous thing for a little pig to do.

And why, why, why, don’t we have marzipan in the U.S. like this?

It’s so cute, it’s so fun, and it tastes so much better–and is better for you, admit–than the average cake decorations that are prevalent here.

Some of you think that I am exclusively obsessed with chocolate, but that is only partially true. That is, I AM obsessed with chocolate to what should be the exclusion of all else, but my ability to be an obsessed gourmande is so large, that I manage to make room for other things, too.

I discovered marzipan in Spain, the famous mazapán de Toledo, and if I could have one of those luscious famous Toledo mazapán right now, I would be very happy. Until I finished it. Then I would wish that I had wished for a whole plateful of mazapán just like this.

I love Spain, I have to say. Every single memory I have of that country is vivid and rich. I often try to talk Sébastien into us moving there.

But meanwhile, the Cours Saleya marzipan is a plethora of shapes and fun.


(Note: A discreet and kind reader–thanks, Becky!–drew my attention to my repeated misspelling of the Cours Saleya, which I spelled Selaya in previous now corrected posts. She did this by the gentle and approved pedagogical method of demonstrating the correct form and hoping I would notice. So. Saleya. I once came in 5th in the state spelling bee, which was a great disappointment to me, because I wanted to win that trip to Washington DC and the national spelling bee. NOW I wonder: WHAT HAPPENED to the brain cells I had when I was 11? I can’t spell anything anymore.)

  • Laura Marie! I was sitting here all content…not wishing for a thing and now you’ve all gone and made me want some marzipan! My grandmother was a master artist with this stuff and up in the closet I have a box of plastic stems for the strawberries she made…it was always with mixed emotions I popped those little beauties in my mouth and ruined the artwork…I could do it now though…I could.

    September 4, 2007 at 10:14 am
  • No way! Don’t play with your food? I’d have whole story lines interacted on the table if that was spread out for me to eat. And the cute little fruits with the faces? ugh, too cute!

    September 4, 2007 at 2:24 pm
  • Such delicious whimsy! Having *very* limited experience with marzipan, I must ask: do all the cute shapes taste the same?!?
    I wish I had some NOW. As a vegetarian with strong ham-bacon-pork cravings, I would have to choose the pink piggie:)

    September 4, 2007 at 5:17 pm
  • melinda

    I make marzipan fruits at Christmas .What a fabulous and colourful collection. Marzipan is not really “loved” here in Australia but I find it soooo Yummy! I adore the pigs and croc’s . Do you know of the Crocodile Guy Steve Irwin from Australia? It was a year ago today that he died. Steve had a very popular TV show about his beloved croc’s and the animals at his zoo in Queensland, Australia – he was very popular in the USA.
    He would Never put those piggies in with the croc’s! LOL

    September 4, 2007 at 7:08 pm
  • Oh thank you for posting this. The girls and I every Christmas make marzipan goodies. This inspire us so. Clarice

    September 4, 2007 at 7:43 pm
  • The brain cells get sucked down to the uterus during pregnancy and never really return full strength. Which is not to say women are not as smart as the non-childbearing portion of the population, mind you. We are smart enough to know which things (say, spelling) we can safely let go without causing too much damage.

    Those crocs are definitely up to something. See the ones in the back left, cutting off an escape route? Piggies, not so smart.

    September 4, 2007 at 7:48 pm
  • I had forgotten about the Steve Irwin anniversary when I posted, but maybe it was a subconscious influence on the crocodiles today. He has been much in the news this week here, with a lot of shows about him on.

    An amazing amount of people do this or have made marzipans in their families! I didn’t realize it was that common here to make them for the holidays. Maybe I have been missing out! Any good recipes to share, marzipan makers? Phyllis, have you ever tried making them yourself? Clarice, if you make them again this Christmas, I hope you will share photos on your blog! I’d love to see yours, too, Melinda!

    They do all taste the same, dharmagirl. The colors are just food-coloring, as far as I know. Unlike some of these experts here, I have never tried to make them. I’m strongly tempted to try to follow that recipe for Toledo mazapán I found for this post, though.

    And you’re right, Michelle. It’s a child’s dream, these marzipan. The creations are amazing, this is just a tiny glimpse, what I happened to catch in a photo.

    September 4, 2007 at 8:08 pm
  • I don’t like the taste of marzipan, but they sure are pretty!!

    September 4, 2007 at 10:53 pm
  • Pate d’amande? Fruits confits? Ha!

    I posted about them–and you– today.

    September 5, 2007 at 2:38 pm
  • Well…I have extremely limited experience with marzipan. Ahem. I haven’t ever tasted it at all. So this post does not drive me insanely crazy with temptation as would say, a chocolate filled post! 😀

    They are pretty though. I especially love the piggies swimming with the crocodiles 🙂 Like dharmagirl I too am a vegetarian. But my cravings extend only out to chocolate. I would probably go for the cherries.

    September 6, 2007 at 8:29 am
  • I do not like marzipan myself, but my mom can eat it by the boat-load (she is Belgian, for those who don’t know- so am I, but I was raised here in the good old US of A!) We would make the marzipan into tiny red berries and green leaves that I would actually press into real holly leaves as a mold, and we would decorate the Buche de Noel with them. It was so pretty- I wish I had photos! Plus, we would make a few frog or mushroom-shaped ones and sprinkle them with cocao to make them look real- it was so fun, and adorable! I miss our old tiny Belgian bistro! I will have to remake some of Mom’s recipes and try that again some day…

    January 6, 2008 at 9:56 pm

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