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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bear With Me...

My good friend and magical Genie Princess Marzie is celebrating her 2nd Blogiversary this year! What an achievement! Congrats!! To commemorate the event she is having another one of her great contests!! The prize…a Mariuca Teddy Bear….the challenge naming the bear!

Well that's easy…a name came into mind right away… I dub thee.....


Marzipan!!! and my sister Penelope!

Why I chose Marzipan…well firstly because it has Marzie in it and secondly because the color of the bear was a shade of almond and since Marzipan is also made out of almonds, plus Marzipan s sweet just like Marzie is, so what better name could it be.


An almond...notice the color similarities with the Mariuca bear!

Not enough just to name the bear I decided to do a little research….and came up with some interesting facts…

From Wikipedia…(scroll to the end of the article for the main point)
Marzipan is a confection consisting primarily of sugar and almond meal.
It derives its characteristic flavor from bitter almonds, which constitute 4% to 6% of the total almond content by weight. Some marzipan is also flavored with rosewater. Persipan is a similar, but cheaper product, for which the almonds are replaced by apricot or peach kernels.


Marzipan is often made into sweets: common uses are marzipan-filled chocolate and small marzipan imitations of fruits and vegetables. It is also rolled into thin sheets and glazed for icing cakes and is traditionally used in wedding cakes, Christmas cakes, and stollen. In some countries marzipan is shaped into small figures of animals as a traditional treat for New Year's Day. Marzipan is also used in Tortell, and in some versions of king cake eaten during the Carnival season.

In Italy, particularly in Palermo, marzipan (marzapane) is often shaped and painted with food colorings to resemble fruit — Frutta martorana — especially during the Christmas season. In Portugal, traditional marzipan (maçapão) fruit shaped sweets made in the Algarve region are called morgadinhos. There are other regions, as Toledo in Spain in which marzipan is shaped into simple animal shapes, and usually filled in with egg yolk (yema) and sugar. In Latin American cuisine, marzipan is known as mazapán and is also traditionally eaten at Christmas, though "Mazapan" is generally made with peanuts in place of almonds. In the Netherlands Marzipan figures are given as presents to children during Saint Nicholas' Eve.
In the Middle-East, marzipan (known as lozina, which is derived from the word "lows", the Arabic word for almonds) is flavored with orange-flower water and shaped into roses and other delicate flowers before they are baked.


The South Asian sweet Badam Barfi is also made from almonds.

History
Although it is believed to have originated in Persia (present-day Iran) and to have been introduced to Europe through the Turks, there is some dispute between Hungary and Italy over its origin. Marzipan became a specialty of the Baltic Sea region of Germany. In particular, the city of Lübeck has a proud tradition of marzipan manufacture (Lübecker Marzipan). The city's manufacturers like Niederegger still guarantee their marzipan to contain two thirds almonds by weight, which results in a juicy, bright yellow product of highest quality. Historically, the city of Königsberg in East Prussia was renowned for its marzipan production. Today, the term Königsberger Marzipan still refers to a special type of marzipan in Germany.
Another possible geographic origin is Toledo, Spain (850-900, though more probably 1150 during the reign of Alfonso VII, then known as Postre Regio instead of Mazapán) and Sicily (1193, known as panis martius or marzapane, i.e., March Bread)[1]. In both cases, there is a reason to believe that there is a clear Arabic influence for historical reasons[1] (both regions were under Muslim control) and there are also mentions in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights of an almond paste eaten during Ramadan and as an aphrodisiac[2]. Other sources establish the origin of marzipan in China, from where the recipe moved on to the Middle East and then to Europe through Al-Andalus[2]. In Toledo, Mazapán is also one of the city's products. Almonds have to be at least 50% of the total weight, following the directives of Mazapan de Toledo regulator counseil[3].


Under EU law, marzipan must have a minimum almond oil content of 14% and a maximum moisture content of 8.5%. Optional additional ingredients are rosewater, honey, pistachios, preservatives, and sometimes hazelnut. In the U.S., marzipan is not officially defined, but it is generally made with a higher ratio of sugar to almonds than almond paste[4][5]. One brand, for instance, has 28% almonds in its marzipan, and 45% almonds in its almond paste.[6] However, in Sweden and Finland almond paste refers to a marzipan that contains 50% ground almonds, a much higher quality than regular marzipan. In Germany, Lübecker Marzipan is known for its quality. It contains 66% almonds.

Etymology


Bears made from marzipan.

The German name has largely ousted the original English name marchpane with the same apparent derivation: "March bread. (This is the clincher because Maricua was the name given to Marzie by her old Italian professor when she was in the univestity….and she is a hopeless romantic, 3rd & 4th degree)" Marzapane is documented earlier in Italian than in any other language, and the sense "bread" for pan is Romance.

Next fact (5th degree)
How many bears do you know who have birthdays? Well this Polar bear named Knut does and how does he do it? Well on his first birthday last year Berlin's biggest celeb rings in the occasion with massive marzipan cake LOL I guess that means he also celebrates being two this year on December 3 ….the same day the contest end too...

Knut the polar bear with his 1st Birthday Marzipan cake!

And finally (6th degree)…

Seeing as how the US elections are going on right now (just in case you’re from Mars and didn’t know!) a Presidential fact - "Teddy" Bears are named after former US President Theodore Roosevelt. His distant cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt was also a US President and married to Eleanor Roosevelt, who my daughter shares her name with and whom I'm writing this post for to win the little bear!

Teddy and the bear

So those are the BEAR facts that I came by in my little quest to win Marzipan the Bear on Mariuca’s second anniversary with a little six degrees of separation thrown in!

Extra Extra Read all about it!

I just realized that Mariuca's Perfume Gallery is also celebrating her birthday! Two for one! Happy belated birthday Marzie for MPG! She is also having a competition to mark the special occasion and me being me (shameless and all) decided to try to give a name the bear Penelope after Penelope Pitstop of the Wacky Races cartoo series! I'm not going to be as elobrate as before but here is a little fact about the name that I found out after giving it...err from wikipedia again...
Penelope
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Homer's Odyssey, Penelópē is the faithful wife of Odysseus, who keeps her suitors at bay in his long absence and so is eventually rejoined with him. Prior to recent readings, her name had been associated with faithfulness.

I kept it short this time but Homer's Odyessy...LOL I couldn't help myself because that was my first and only avatar when I started blogging! Doh!!

Penelope and Homer and pals! Priceless!


Cheers!!

53 comments:

Nick Phillips said...

Marzipan huh? Desperate for the bear ain't ya? Wikipedia specs and all ... LOL!

Nick Phillips said...

Wah, first commenter lagi ... hehehe ...

Mariuca said...

Ha ha ha ha!!! Nick is finally first lol!!

Mariuca said...

GK!!!! walawwei, in-dpeth research some more, thanks a gazillion GK!!! What an awesome effort from GK, love and hugs!! :):):)

Mariuca said...

Ha ha ha so cute la ur post, how many bears have birthdays it seems!!! :)

Mariuca said...

Thanks for ur entry GK, and some more u quickly posted it after ur long MIA kan? Extra special effort, love ya! And love the name too of coz, very clever! :):):)

Mariuca said...

I'm back GK!! :)

Mariuca said...

This would make a nice pressie for lil Ellie indeed yeah? Has she seen the picture GK? :)

Mariuca said...

GK, I'm impressed at the trouble u went through to have this popst up! But oh so happy u decided to join! Good luck to u GK!

And thanks so much for wishing Mariuca on her besday he he! Here's to another great year with u and the gang! GENIE HUGZZZZ!! :):):)

Emila Yusof said...

Uwaaa! How to win like this?!! GK's entry was like a complete entry with rationale and what not!!

Lol, Marzipan is a cute name, GK!

best,
your GB,
who wants the teddy too!

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

Hohoho! Merry Christmas!

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

GK!! thanks for the pressie you've left on my chirstmas tree! i def would love a vacation right now!! :)

my work in dubai blog said...

Wow! such a long tribute for a precious little girl...Congratulations for the anniversary and more birthdays to come.

Nick Phillips said...

Seeing as how you're able to do such a long research for a bear, lets see you do something on A,B,C's ... LOL!

*bolts out of here like lightning*

Yenna Sugum, Nike ... LOL!

Mariuca said...

Ha ha ha ha Nicky!!! U are hilarious la!

Alakazam GK! Have a great weekend okay? :):):)

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

hi gk! im sry to drop & run like this. but there are still so many blogs to visit. so i am gonna make this quick!

i've just purchased my own domain! please change my url in yr blog to http://www.agreatpleasure.com. In short, please omit the .blogspot from my old url!

thanks! Hv a great weekend! :)

Adrian said...

Hi Buddy! Of course...it's a cute bear and who wouldn't want it!?!?! Cool facts too huh? LOL
Hope I win cause Ellie would love it!

Adrian said...

Yeah Buddy First commenter... although I haven't got a prize for you....being first here is prize enough LOL Cheers bub!

Adrian said...

Yup GP!! Nick is finally first! LOL Not very hard to do that here lah since I started my course....but still an achievement all the same to!!

Adrian said...

GP! Yup it took a whole lot of time and research to actually find something meaningful. However, in a way Marzipan had all that facts behind it that I didn't know! I guess that means it was the perfect name? LOL Othwerwise I'll go with Rupert....remember him?

Adrian said...

Ya lah GP!! To find a bear who is celebrating a his 2nd bitthday on December 3 the date your contest ends and who had a Marzipan cake for his first birthday!! Awesome fun fact ya!!

Adrian said...

Happy that you love the name...I can see that you have quite a few names to choose from and that B also likes a particular name.... just hope all my effort pays off when it comes to selection time hehehe Marzipan the Bear has a very nice ring to it!! :):):) it actually took me a whole of a second to come up with the name....the moment I saw it I knew that was it! :)

Adrian said...

Wow back again GP!! Sorry I'm so late responding but work is really tight...me boss is retiring so more to do plus also got to prepare a surprise for him on his last day!

adrian said...

GP! !It really would make a nice pressie for Ellie...especially since it's so close to Christmas... I'd put it under the tree and make it a surprise for her....IF I WON that is LOL I haven't shown her the picture yet...if she gets on the computer she won't let me on....terrible lah that little girl...will fight with me over the mouse some more!! LOL Actually its fun lah fighting with her over the pc! But lately too busy to let her use it too....ho hum...a few more months I keep reminding myself!

adrian said...

GP! It was my pleasure doing it! Hey you were one of my very first blogbuddies and not only that you sure helped me a lot too!! Genie HUGZZZ!! Make that a double!! :):)

adrian said...

GB!! Glad you like Marzipan! Taking my Master's has thought me a lot about doing research for a subject! SO I guess I have the course to thank LOL

I hope you win too Emila!! Good luck!! Just watch out I might hijack the postie LOL

adrian said...

Jean!! You beat me to Christmas LOL SO nice to see that the spirit of Christmas is everywhere!! :):)

adrian said...

Ms. Yummylicious!! I hope you get a real vacation!!! I wish I had one too....but looks like only next year :( My Christmas tree is up too but this year we will be going light...meaning not as much decor as in previous years because of the lack of time....kinda sad but what to do....loads of assignments and studying to do!

Boum Natale!!

adrian said...

My work in Dubai! Welcome! Yes I dedicated my blog to my little girl...irony is I have to now forego writing posts because I want to spend most of my free time with her! So I have been neglecting my blog but it's okay! :)

adrian said...

Nick!! Thanks for the tag...I've wanted to do some but just can't seem to find the time...maybe next year after my course I'll make up for lost time!! :):) I actually started my no tag month last December but it's turned out to be a no tag year by accident....and it's been a very quick year becauseDecember is just days away! So much to do...so little time!! Don't know how I'm gonna manage this year...have loads of assignemnts due days before Christmas and an exam at the begining of the year...yas I'm complaining! LOL I know I asked for it LOL

Cheers bud and thanks for all the comments! :)

adrian said...

Yikes Marzie again and I didn't even answer a single one of anyone's comments until now...I'm so bad! :( Well better late than never right!! LOL

Cheers GP and have a nice week! :)

adrian said...

Jean...wow you too!! So many of you have your own domain....I'll wait until later when I have more time before deciding!! Cheers and thanks for the heads up! :)

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

haha, GK, yes i did! i beat u up at christmas this time! i haven't even buy a christmas tree for my new home yet lar. At least u hv a nice all lit up christmas tree!! :)

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

GK, ...me & my friends are planning a vacation after christmas! hopefully this time jadi lar. we always ended up talking abt it only and failing to accomodate to the shcedule. :/

wow, sounded like so busy lar u,GK! hope you're enjoyign yr studies!! Here am sprinking some christmas spirit to yr lovely blog!! :)

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

oh, GK! looks who's at yr EC today!! haha!! Merry christmas, dear!! hohoho!!

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

GK, yr radio is playing Piece by Pice, by Katie Melua. I love this song lar. So soothing!! :)

Mariuca said...

He he he he shameless it seems LOL!!

Mariuca said...

Excellent choice of name GK, I love it! And I do like the idea of Penelope associated with faithfulness, thanks so much for taking part in MPG's contest too.

Good luck Adrian and say hello to Lil Ellie for me! :):):)

Mariuca said...

Oh I've added ur entry to my list. ;)

Mariuca said...

He he so cute la ur Ellie and the bear under ur tree sounds like the best pressie for Ellie, good luck again!!

GK, B now has several favourite names he he... me too la, so hard to decide later. Am gonna have to read everybody's posts again before I pick my winner, and see which post I love the best, can't wait! :):):)

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

GK, you've just been awarded and invited to join me in What Kind of Chocolate Are You? Have a Choco~licious Wednesday! :)

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

oh, btw, are you on your blog makeover process. Looks like you are arranging your stuff around here. :) Happy Blog Makeover!

Mariuca said...

Alakazam!

Hi GK! You’re invited to join me on a BEARY-special meme, have fun! :D

Jean Chia aka Ms.Yummy~licious said...

GK, you're invited too to join me in my Fluffy Bear-iuca meme. Come quick! :)

LadyJava said...

Hiya GK..
Just wanted to come and say hello!!! Wah great name.. I still need to come up a name for the pink bear lah..

So stiff the competition!!

Take care and see you around :)

Shemah said...

Woww! Marzie is gonna have a tough time deciding who gets the bear! I love that name, Marzipan. Suits the bear alot. But there are a lot of great names out there too.

Good luck, can't wait to see who wins. And enjoyed reading the facts too! :)

LadyJava said...

Merry Christmas GK to you and yours!!!!! ho ho ho!!

Mariuca said...

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas from Mariuca!

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Merry Christmas Eddie Genie King Adrian my friend!!!!!!

tnomeralc web design toys said...

Finally, the longest running tribute for a bear toy.

You really don't have the inkling like to bears do you? LOL.

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