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“Martorana” almond fruits in gift-box


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Martorana fruits (almond paste) in a delightful gift package, true masterpieces of pastry art that astonishingly reproduce real fruits. Crafted with passion and artistic flair following the dictates of the ancient traditional recipe, fully modeled and painted by hand!


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Sicilian specialty traditional for the All Saints’ Day celebration, the Martorana is now available throughout the year, making a splendid appearance in every sicilian high-quality pastry shop. Based solely on almonds and sugar, it has the characteristic of faithfully reproducing in every detail colorful fruits of all kinds. Each piece, modeled and hand-painted, stands out for the accuracy of the details, color shades, and specific features of the various fruits.

Although produced in various provinces of Sicily, Palermo claims exclusive primogeniture, as evidenced by the name: Martorana is indeed the name of a historic architectural complex (church, convent, and Benedictine monastery) overlooking the central Piazza Bellini, founded in 1194 by the pious noblewoman Eloisa Martorana.

The church, pre-existing for actually half a century under the name of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, in honor of George of Antioch, Grand Admiral of the Norman King Roger II, was transferred from the Greek-Byzantine rite to the nuns of the Order of Saint Benedict of Palermo. Cared for and administered by the nuns, who belonged to noble and influential families, not only did the complex grow in renown and power, but the orchards and gardens of the convent quickly became famous as a small Eden for the extraordinary abundance “of all kinds of vegetables and trees bearing every fruit.” So much so that the bishop, or even the sovereign, according to another version of the legendary tale, wanted to see for himself, personally visiting the convent. However, it was in the heart of winter, a time when the orchard and plants did not bear fruit. This is how the proud and enterprising nuns eagerly set to work, hanging on the bare branches of the trees a great abundance of fruits of all kinds, entirely similar to the real ones, imitated with almond paste skillfully crafted with cane sugar that the Arabs had already acclimatized to the island at that time. In the same years, the recipe for marzipan seems to date back, indeed, from the Arabic “massaban.” Originally, it wasn’t a confectionery preparation (known in Palermo as “pasta reale”) but rather a kind of document-carrying box (hence the saying “aprire i marzapani,” meaning to reveal secrets). Later, it was also used in noble circles for transporting and preserving precious delicacies crafted by the skilled hands of the noble ladies of the Martorana. The tradition continued for centuries, until 1575, when, by episcopal decree, the monopoly of confectionery production passed to the Confettari corporation, leaving the nuns free to fully dedicate themselves to prayer and contemplation. Three hundred years later, with the birth of the Kingdom of Italy, the new Savoy government suppressed the monastic order. The religious complex thus enters a phase of abandonment that has lasted until our days, while the church, dedicated to Saint Nicholas of the Greeks, resumes the Greek-Byzantine rite for the Italo-Albanian community. Much more vital than the monumental complex, however, survives the recipe of “Frutta Martorana” (or more simply called “Martorana”), becoming a heritage of Sicilian pastry chefs since then.

Today, the Martorana, recognized as STG (Specialità Tradizionale Garantita), officially listed by the Ministry for Agricultural Resources in the catalog of traditional Sicilian agri-food products, is famous worldwide as an icon of Sicilian tradition. The ingredients of Frutta Martorana are classics of Sicilian pastry: almonds, sugar, and natural flavors. For coloring, natural food dyes are used, such as shellac, which is employed for the glossy finish.

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Almonds (40%), sugar, glucose, cinnamon, cornstarch, shellac E904, Preservative E200 (potassium sorbate). Colorants: E102, E110, E123, E124, E131. ALLERGENS: almonds, eggs. .


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