Flavour Revolution – Marzipan

Reasons to Celebrate

As a good half-German boy, Ma Sip was always proud that I grew up a fan of marzipan… at least until I ate too much of it one Christmas. I still like the stuff, but only in small doses now. Despite my appreciation, I’m surprised that marzipan has its own national day (January 12th). As crazy as that is, there are other holidays that seem even more obscure:

National Punctuation Day

Celebrated every September 24th, as a writer, I must admit that I’m a fan of exclamation marks, commas, ellipses, and everything in between. To imbibe on National Punctuation Day, it’s suggested that people read a newspaper and mark all the punctuation mistakes or record store signs that have similar errors. Sounds like an off-the-hook way to praise those beautiful sentence accentuations.

Punctuation Day

National Weather Person’s Day

I hate weather people… I’ve even written an article on the subject. February 5th seems an odd day to celebrate weather people, since it’s at a time of year when they could really bungle the forecast. Why not celebrate these duds in the summer, when their predictions are a little more accurate. How hard is it to say sunny and hot, am I right!?

International Breast Day

My only complaint with this holiday is that it took so long to come into existence. Why are we supposed to only give tribute to breasts on one day of the calendar? And I have to ask, are we also celebrating the male breast? No, of course we’re not. There is also National Cleavage Day, sponsored by Wonderbra and held in South Africa, in either March or April of each year.

International Stupidity Day

Now, is this a day for committing stupid acts and getting away with it, or honouring the great men of stupidity that have come before us? In a similar vein, you could celebrate “Blame Someone Else Day” after executing an act of extreme stupidity and passing the liability off to some other schlub. Mrs. Sip will attest that International Stupidity Day occurs nearly every day of the calendar in our home!

Stupidity

National VCR Day

I salute the VCR for the many years of enjoyment it provided me as a youngster, but the platform has been extinct for just as long of my life as it was part of it. March 2nd is National Old Stuff Day, so people could try going to closed down video rental stores, while listening to their Walkman or Discman, perhaps even while rocking some of those ancient roller skates from the land before time!

Be Late for Something Day

Let’s hope Mrs. Sip doesn’t read this article and learn that there is a national observance for something she does practically every day of her life. The Sip Advisor is a punctual person, so it has always been frustrating to be dating, engaged, and finally married to someone who has absolutely no concept of time. At least she’s beautiful and is a spokesperson for the aforementioned International Breast Day!

Flavour Revolution: Almond Joy

Almond Joy

  • 1 oz Marzipan Liqueur
  • 1 oz Crème de Cacao
  • 0.5 oz Coconut Rum
  • Top with Milk
  • Garnish with Marzipan

The German city of Lubeck is the hub of marzipan production, where local legend dictates the food was created there, likely during a famine, where all that remained was almonds and sugar. Regardless of the accuracy of that tale, we must thank them for their tireless efforts!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
This martini was very good as a dessert option. The Marzipan Liqueur is like a creamy version of Amaretto, while the other liquors added some complexity to the beverage’s taste.

Germany – Widow Maker

Just Too Sweet

In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer learns that Germany is the ‘Land of Chocolate’ and that is entirely true. In fact, Germany is home to a number of wonderful treats, even venturing beyond the world of rich, creamy goodness. Here are some of the notable items Germany is able to bring to the international potluck!

Ritter Sport

Who couldn’t fall in love with these little chocolate bars, which are divided into 16 bite-size pieces, making it easy to eat as little or as much as you desire. Although the company was founded in 1912, the famous chocolate bars for which the brand is most associated didn’t debut until 1932. The Sip Advisor’s favourite Ritter Sport choices, include Knusperkeks (milk chocolate with biscuit) and Knusperflakes (milk chocolate with cornflakes), clearly showing that mixing chocolate with a crunch is a preference. The company even has a museum dedicated to squares and everything they entail.

Ritter-Sport Truck

Haribo

Based out of Bonn, Germany, Haribo is not only a great gummy candy company, but they are the originators of the concept, creating the world’s first gummy bear in 1922. They have since dramatically expanded their lineup to include cola bottles, jelly beans, wine gums, sour cherries, and so much more, including numerous products you just can’t find outside of Europe. While I’m not the biggest fan of gummy candies, I do enjoy them from time to time and in small doses. Their slogan rings true: “Haribo makes children happy – and adults as well!”

Kinder

Although Kinder products originated with Italian company Ferrero, the brand name is German (meaning children), the chocolate is huge across Germany, and Kinder Schokolade  is kind of its own entity in the country… all that adds up to being good enough for the Sip Advisor. Mrs. Sip and I still pick up Kinder Surprise eggs from time to time, depending on what the toy inside might be. We’ve grabbed eggs that contained Disney characters – I was hoping for a Scrooge McDuck – and other lines, just for the thrill of opening that little plastic egg. The chocolate is alright, too!

Trolli

While Haribo introduced gummy bears to the world, Trolli made their own mark, unleashing gummy worms into the hands of curious children on the 60th anniversary of the gummy bear. Today, the company pushes 150,000 tons of gummies out of their factories around the world, including four in Germany alone. Trolli has been involved in one controversy that I actually find quite funny. In 2004, they released a line of Road Kill gummies, featuring chickens, squirrels, and snakes with tire tracks embedded on them. Animal rights groups squashed the candy, which seems like overkill… get it!?

trolli-weirdly-awesome

Marzipan

While marzipan is enjoyed across the globe, it is in Germany (particularly the city of Lübeck, whose marzipan is geographically protected by the European Union) where you can find entire stores dedicated to the almond meal confection. Ma Sip figures I’m a good German boy because I enjoy marzipan. That said, I did overindulge one Christmas as a teenager and ate an entire bar of marzipan in short order. Now I limit myself to small servings, spread over a few days and really only around the holiday season. When the Sip Advisor was last in Germany, I also made sure to pick up a bottle of marzipan liqueur for future cocktails!

Black Forest Cake

What foray into Germany’s famous confectionary treats would be complete without a slice of Black Forest Cake. The Sip Advisor is a huge fan of this dessert… we’re talking cake mush all over my face, grinning ear-to-ear into Black Forest Cake! There’s just something about the mix of chocolate, whipped cream, and cherries that works so well and turns this Cookie Monster into a cake lover for brief periods of time. Enjoying a cut while actually travelling through Bavaria should be on every traveler’s bucket list… get on it, my little sippers!

Germany: Widow Maker

Widow Maker Martini

  • 1 oz Jagermeister
  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • Dash of Grenadine
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Germany is also home a number of famous car companies, from Porsche to BMW to Volkswagen and everything in between. I could have talked about that, but soothing my sweet tooth is so much more pleasurable!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I garnished the drink with a Maraschino Cherry as an homage to the Black Forest Cake. I had a hell of a time finding Maraschino Cherries that had stems with them, as they look so much better in cocktails over stemless Maraschino Cherries. The most interesting part of this martini is how the Jagermeister and Kahlua go so well together. A very tasty cocktail that’s not too strong, at all.