A few weeks ago i was in the country of Jordan, which had me thinking about delicious sugar-coated Jordan almonds that you often see at weddings. Well... as it happens, these bittersweet candies have nothing to do with Jordan at all, and in fact date back to Italy. These pretty little candies have two elements to them, the fresh almond and the sugar coating. History says that the bittersweetness of the fresh almond represents life, and the sugar coating is added with the hope that the newlyweds life will be more sweet than bitter. Don't you just love it?!!
But before you go piling them into darling little decorative boxes, be aware of how many you share. In Italian weddings you must place five almonds to represent five wishes for the bride and groom... for health, wealth, happiness, fertility and longevity. In Greek weddings the koufeta, as they are known, are placed in bags in odd numbers and served on a silver tray. Odd numbers are indivisible, which symbolizes how the newlyweds will share everything and remain undivided. Tradition holds that if an unmarried woman puts them under her pillow she will dream of her future husband. At weddings in the Middle East, the almonds are considered aphrodisiacs and are always on hand. Have too many and you leave the reception early :)
No matter what the culture, Jordan almonds make cute wedding favors, and there are so many wonderful ways you can present them. Attach a little card with this Jordan almonds poem, and your guests will understand their true value and meaning.
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!