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Where can I get Marzipan?

The Huntress kindly linked me to a recipe for an almond cake (a Nigella recipe - http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/e...) and it calls for marzipan. Anyone know where can i find some in SF proper, or in East Bay (hopefully El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley)?

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  1. Berkeley Bowl sometimes has it in bulk (cheaper) though sometimes they have only almost paste (same stuff minus egg white and sugar) in bulk. I think they always have Odense except occasionally before the Xmas holidays they might run out.

    Berkeley Bowl
    2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

    1 Reply
    1. They also have some (though not in bulk) at Cost Plus World Market - though i haven't been in a while. I've used it to make chocolate cake.

      1. I imagine Spun Sugar on University Ave. in Berkeley would have that .......

        Spun Sugar
        1611 University Ave, Berkeley, CA

        1. hey, thanks, all! good to have options.

          1. I've bought it at Berkeley Bowl in bulk (not particularly smooth), and in cans from Cal-Mart on California at Laurel/Cherry. The cans were much smoother.

            3585 California St, San Francisco, CA 94118

            1. Nordic House on San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley.

              Nordic House
              2709 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

              1. I believe it's also sold in tube form at most Safeways.

                13 Replies
                  1. re: mariacarmen

                    Yeah, there's no reason to cross a bridge for marzipan. It looks like a beige salami, or a smaller roll of polenta. Any supermarket should sell it.

                    1. re: Windy

                      thanks, i didn't know it was that common to be in "regular" supermarkets.

                      1. re: mariacarmen

                        Not the fancier candies, but the baking kind. Although now I'm remembering Lehr's on Church usually has Swiss or German chocolate-covered marzipan, often in cute shapes.

                        1. re: Windy

                          i've seen the candies around town. They might be more of a seasonal winter thing, but I think maybe Miette and Thorough Bread and Pastry have stocked them in the past.

                          Thorough Bread and Pastry
                          248 Church Street, San Francisco, CA

                          1. re: SteveG

                            See's has the best chocolate-covered marzipan -- year-round. But you're right, a lot of places only stock it around the holidays.

                            I'm still longing for a confection that the old Edy's in Berkeley made that was a layer of marzipan and a layer of dark chocolate ganache enrobed in chocolate.

                            In my experience, BTW, people either love marzipan or hate it.

                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                              Oh, I concur that See's has the best chocolate-covered marzipan. The marzipan is neither too dry, nor too gooey, and not overly sweetened (a major problem in most commercial bars and many chocolatiers' products, IMO).

                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                that's a good tip - i had no idea. my bf loves marzipan as a fancy candy too, so, very good to know about Sees. thx.

                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                  I agree - dark chocolate marzipan from See's is my favorite, and at a great price to boot.

                                2. re: SteveG

                                  Speaking of Thorough, have you tried their pate de fruits? I noticed tiny nougats at the register last time I was there, but managed to resist.

                                3. re: Windy

                                  i'm only looking for the unfancy baking kind right now, thanks!

                              2. re: Windy

                                confirmed: baking aisle at Whole Foods Potrero

                                1. re: Windy

                                  thanks Windy! i'll be home Friday night so i can swing by there. everyone had been so helpful, thanks!

                          2. I recently bought some at Andronico's, in the Inner Sunset. They had two types, one with higher sugar content and one less sugar.

                            1. Ended up at Rainbow Grocery - an ease of public transpo decision - and found some organic marzipan from Sicily - Bia Stramondo. $11.99 for 250 grams! (as opposed to the other two they had, which were about half the price.) but the check-out girl raved about it. i'll be baking with it Saturday, so we shall see. Thanks again for all tips!

                              Rainbow Grocery
                              1745 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                That is the very best marzipan you can get. I think it is made with pizzuta almonds. It makes the stuff from Odense, which is acceptable, seem like dry wall mud.

                                1. re: wally

                                  well then, i'm really excited to try it now! thanks for the info!

                                2. re: mariacarmen

                                  Does it have the same bitter-almond flavor and aroma as the regular stuff?

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    I'd never purchased the regular stuff in a bar like that - had only had marzipan candy things, in fruit shapes, etc. (in Venice, primarily). This was very almondy, sweet-ish, not really bitter. the ingredients, as listed: Organic, raw cane sugar, organic almonds. The blurb on the package says they use Palma Girgenti and Mandorla Cuore almonds. It was delicious, and the cake came out perfect - moist, dense, yet light. I'd try it next time with the cheaper version, just to see the difference, but if it's not as good i'd switch back to the more expensive Sicilian brand.

                                    1. re: mariacarmen

                                      Including a small percentage of bitter almonds doesn't make marzipan taste bitter, it's just a distinctive flavor and aroma that's different from almond paste or marzipan made from 100% regular almonds. It's quite similar to noyau (apricot kernels).

                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                        ok, but i am not sure what you're referring or responding to. i merely listed the ingredients. and i was just letting you know there was no bitter taste, which you asked about, not saying why there was or wasn't. maybe i'm misunderstanding your comment.

                                        1. re: mariacarmen

                                          I didn't ask about a bitter taste, I asked about bitter-almond flavor and aroma, which is my motive for paying extra for marzipan over the Bowl's bulk almond paste.

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            i guess i don't know about the bitter almond flavor. which brand have you had that has that, the Bowl's? I may want to try that next.

                                            1. re: mariacarmen

                                              Most of the marzipan I've had. I think a small percentage of bitter almonds is traditional in most countries except Spain. It's the distinctive flavor in amaretti and amaretto (sometimes made from apricot kernels instead).

                                              I haven't had the Bia Stramondo, but from what I find online neither of those almond varieties is bitter.

                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                The Stramondo is sweeter and finer in texture than Berkeley Bowl almond paste and does not have as much bitter almond flavor that you get from the Berkeley Bowl almond paste. I have both.