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If your idea of glace (candied) fruits are supermarket pots of mixed peel, dyed red Maraschino cherries and lurid green shards of angelica, then think again. THESE are what proper glace fruits look like. It’s a method of preserving fruit that apparently dates back to ancient Mesopotamia. Fruit and or peel are heated in a thick sugar syrup. This absorbs the moisture from the fruit, preserving it in a process that can take up to a month.

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Wikipedia sums it up better than I ever could:

“The ancient Romans preserved even fish by soaking it in honey. However, the real precursors of modern candying were the Arabs, who served candied citrus and roses at the important moments of their banquets. With the Arab domination of parts of southern Europe, the candied fruit made ​​its way to the West. The first documents that demonstrate the use of candied fruit in Europe date back to the sixteenth century. At that time, the candied fruits were treated like spices. In Italy, they become a key ingredient of some of the most famous sweets of its culinary tradition: among these, the Milanese Panettone and the Cassata Siciliana.”

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So, if you are planning on making your own Christmas cake this year, think about buying some real glace fruit and chopping your own, rather buying ready chopped mixed peel in the supermarket. Your tastebuds will thank you for it.

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And if you are ever in Barcelina, do pop along to the Boqueria market off the Ramblas to buy some. It makes a smashing present.

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6 comments

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There are some amazing shops like this is Luxembourg. The prices will makes your eyes water though!

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Wow it looks so tasty and I want one of those glacé fruits now 🙂

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Can’t stop drooling…

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Oh God, those food markets in Barcelona! I only spent three days there on my recent trip but most of that time was spent parked at the counter of the little stalls they have dotted around: more prawns senorita? Si.
But my favourite food there was actually those delicious little rolls rubbed with fresh tomato, moistened with olive oil and topped with thin slices of cheese. I could eat a truckload of those!

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Continental markets always so fantastic,pity we don’t have the culture in England,always the part of my holiday I look forward to the most wherever I go..

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Or make it? I made my own for my Georgian meal at Blacks:
http://marmitelover.blogspot.com/2011/06/bacchanalian-lunch-at-blacks-with.html

Even nicer…

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