By: Kristin Park
As I sat eating a few of my favorite candies, Jordan almonds, I decide to do some research. Being Italian I have long known of the Italian tradition of Jordan almonds but I wasn’t as familiar with the Greek tradition.
The Jordan almond originated from the town of Sulmona in Italy. Jordan almonds are also known as sugared almonds or confetti and are almonds in a candy coating. The almonds are coated in a variety colors with each color significant to a specific occasion in life, white being for weddings.
Jordan almonds are often used as weddings favors because the almonds are bitter representing life and the candy coating is sweet hoping that the sweetness of the marriage will overcome the bitterness of life.
In the Italian tradition Jordan almonds are packed in groups of five, representing health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity. The packages are often placed at the guest’s seat along with this traditional poem:
Jordan Almonds for Thee
Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat
To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet.
Five wishes for the new husband and wife-
Health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life!
While in the Greek tradition the almonds are called koufetta and are packaged in little bags and placed on a silver tray. They are packaged in odd numbers because odd numbers are indivisible which symbolizes how the newlyweds will share everything and remain undivided. The tradition remains true that if an unmarried woman puts the almonds under her pillow, she will dream of her future husband. Sweet dreams!