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Marzipan is a confectionery consisting primarily of ground almonds and sugar that derives its characteristic flavor from bitter almonds, which constitute 4% to 6% of total almond content by weight. Some marzipan is also flavored with rosewater. 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 originator.
Marzipan became a specialty of the Baltic Sea region of Germany.In particular, the city of Lübeck has a proud tradition of marzipan manufacture. 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.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 and preservatives. In the U.S., marzipan must include at least a quarter almonds by weight, otherwise it is considered to be almond paste. However, in Sweden and Finland "almond paste" refers to a marzipan that contains 50% ground almonds, i.e. a much higher quality than regular marzipan.