Tuesday, 7 April 2009

It taste like...

A lot of the time, it can be very difficult to articulate an answer to that all too common question: 'what does it taste like?'. Of course, you could answer 'very sweet!' or 'spicy!' or maybe even 'like little bites of heaven!', although you may elicit some odd looks if you try out that last response.

However over the years, I have found one ingredient which seems to pop up everywhere.

I was first attracted to the wonders of Marzipan. As a young child, I was mesmerised by the often beautiful forms which marzipan can take. When I stopped eating chocolate, I found that marzipan is a wonderful substitute for that sweet taste.
I was thinking of finding some of the beautiful fruits or miniature animals I have eaten in marzipan form over the years. But no, a Google image search throws up several search results for marzipan babies instead. How creepy would it be taking a chunk out of these ones?

Anyway, moving swiftly onwards, PLEASE...

Almond croissants
I soon discovered that almond croissants are indeed my favourite croissants. I also realised that it is the crushed almonds which lend the distinctive taste to marzipan, which can also be found in the almond paste you get in the centre of a nice almond croissant.

You can tell I like to just scoop out the insides of it, can't you?

The next discovery I made was a little more surprising.

Apple pips
The first time I tasted an apple pip, I immediately shrieked 'it tastes of marzipan!'. Unfortunately, the people around me at the time had never troubled to eat the whole of an apple before, so just thought I was crazy. I simply accepted that apple pips are a great way of experiencing the almondalicious taste without all those calories as well. It was only later, when I was speaking to someone else who commented that apple pips taste like marzipan, that my interest was really aroused. I found out that apple pips actually contain the poison cyanide in them, albeit in tiny harmless quantities. And later, I was reading a Roald Dahl short story in which a character is poisoned; one of his final observations is that 'the tea tasted faintly of bitter almonds'. Turns out... cyanide smells (and tastes) like almonds. I slowly began to make the links: apple pips taste like marzipan, apple pips contain cyanide, marzipan is made of almonds, cyanide tastes like almonds...

I still eat the pips, and sometimes I start chewing the stalk too...

And today, I found that amaretti tastes like marzipan too. Surprise, surprise, it's made of almonds. So now, please tell me, why on earth do almonds themselves taste completely different???


  1. The pips? That's wild. That croissant does look delicious though, but I can not stand marzipan. I hear you either love it or hate it...
    P.S. I agree, the differences in education is fascinating! Even from attending various public schools in the US the curriculum and rules change so much according to state, or even region...
    Oh, and your whole "sixth form" phenom is still a bit of a mystery to me...

  2. Huh, you're right. All these almond-flavored things don't actually taste like actual almonds!

  3. Those marzipan babies are gross. But, I do enjoy an almond croissant.