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Where can I get Marzipan?

mariacarmen Feb 26, 2011 04:47 PM

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)?

  1. Robert Lauriston Feb 26, 2011 05:08 PM

    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. re: Robert Lauriston
      mariacarmen Feb 26, 2011 05:29 PM


    2. c
      chocomel Feb 26, 2011 11:42 PM

      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. g
        gordon wing Feb 26, 2011 11:55 PM

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

        Spun Sugar
        1611 University Ave, Berkeley, CA

        1. mariacarmen Feb 27, 2011 06:04 AM

          hey, thanks, all! good to have options.

          1. s
            SteveG Feb 28, 2011 11:01 AM

            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. e
              Eli Feb 28, 2011 01:53 PM

              Nordic House on San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley.

              Nordic House
              2709 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

              1. insectazoids Feb 28, 2011 02:42 PM

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

                13 Replies
                1. re: insectazoids
                  mariacarmen Feb 28, 2011 05:08 PM

                  really! ok, good to know. thanks all!

                  1. re: mariacarmen
                    Windy Feb 28, 2011 10:25 PM

                    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
                      mariacarmen Feb 28, 2011 10:37 PM

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

                      1. re: mariacarmen
                        Windy Mar 1, 2011 08:44 AM

                        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
                          SteveG Mar 1, 2011 11:50 AM

                          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
                            Ruth Lafler Mar 1, 2011 12:29 PM

                            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
                              Caitlin McGrath Mar 1, 2011 06:37 PM

                              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
                                mariacarmen Mar 1, 2011 07:43 PM

                                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
                                  artemis Mar 1, 2011 09:25 PM

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

                                2. re: SteveG
                                  Windy Mar 1, 2011 01:41 PM

                                  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
                                  mariacarmen Mar 1, 2011 07:42 PM

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

                              2. re: Windy
                                Windy Mar 2, 2011 04:45 PM

                                confirmed: baking aisle at Whole Foods Potrero

                                1. re: Windy
                                  mariacarmen Mar 2, 2011 10:05 PM

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

                          2. manraysky Mar 1, 2011 07:55 PM

                            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. mariacarmen Mar 4, 2011 06:42 AM

                              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
                                wally Mar 4, 2011 07:28 AM

                                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
                                  mariacarmen Mar 4, 2011 09:14 PM

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

                                2. re: mariacarmen
                                  Robert Lauriston Mar 5, 2011 09:30 AM

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

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                    mariacarmen Mar 5, 2011 08:58 PM

                                    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
                                      Robert Lauriston Mar 6, 2011 09:43 AM

                                      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
                                        mariacarmen Mar 6, 2011 02:48 PM

                                        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
                                          Robert Lauriston Mar 6, 2011 05:33 PM

                                          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
                                            mariacarmen Mar 6, 2011 09:10 PM

                                            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
                                              Robert Lauriston Mar 7, 2011 08:33 AM

                                              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
                                                wally Mar 7, 2011 08:50 AM

                                                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.

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