A mixture of blanched almonds and sugar ground to a paste, marzipan has a long and nebulous history. Depending on the reference cited, its origins may lie in Germany, the Middle East, or Italy. Whatever its source, it is less important to the confectioner than the methods for making and using marzipan. While marzipan has not been extremely popular in the United States, some of this is no doubt due to Americans’ exposure to a poor-quality product. The U.S. government does not recognize a standard of identity for marzipan, but all marzipan should be based on almonds. Confectioners may alter formulas as they see fit to create and market marzipan, but most agree that without almonds, the product simply is not marzipan. The marzipan formulas in this book contain 50 percent nuts on a dry-solids basis. Using fewer nuts is less expensive and makes the process easier but does not provide the full flavor found in marzipan containing more nuts. However, a marzipan that contains too many nuts—a quantity higher than 50 percent—is very prone to separation due to its high oil content.