Marzipan, the indulgent sweet made from almonds. When you think of marzipan you probably think of Germany or maybe Austria. But guess again, marzipan originates from – yes, Estonia.
The legend has it that a long-long time ago, around the Middle Ages there was a rich merchant who had fallen ill. He ordered a famous pharmacist to make a medicine for him. But the pharmacist had a cold at the time, sneezing all the time so he commanded his apprentice Mart to make the medicine for him. Mart was a mischievous boy and he switched up some ingredients to make the medicine better, adding almonds and honey.
The medicine turned out to not cure the rich merchant but he did grow to like it so much that he ordered it to have after every meal. The “medicine” made by Mart became very popular and soon they started shipping it overseas to Riga and Königsberg. Bishop Henrik named the sweet after Mart – martipan. Mart was now a famous boy and he married the rich merchant’s daughter Matilda. They lived happily ever after.
That is a true story – probably :).
Today you can be part of that story and step into tiny Marzipan Museum in Old Town, where the exhibition is dedicated to Georg Stude, a Baltic German who started the marzipan making at the same location in the middle of the 19th century. At the museum, you can also observe the art of marzipan painting: an artist is constantly working in the museum.