It’s not uncommon to see small white candies on dessert tables, especially at a wedding. But what exactly are these little treats? They’re none other than Jordan Almonds, and it turns out, they're more than a delicious snack.
"Jordan Almonds are almonds covered in a sweet, candy coating," explains Marisa Battaglia, owner of B Sweet Designs. "They come in a variety of colors, but white tends to be the most popular." These candies are incorporated into a couple’s wedding day for a variety of reasons, and they can be displayed or handed out in so many ways. Ahead, Battaglia and pastry chef Erin Emmett explain the history of these sweet treats and offer unique ways to serve them at your wedding.
Meet the Expert
The History and Meaning Behind Jordan Almonds
While it is possible to simply treat Jordan Almonds as a pretty candy to add to a dessert table, they do hold meaning for some couples, too. These dainty candies date back to 1350, with literary references during that time.
"For many of our clients who want to honor their heritage, we see it most with Greek or Italian cultures, Jordan Almonds seem to be rooted in tradition," says Battaglia. "We’ve heard many reasons to incorporate these little treats into a couple’s special day, but ultimately they are symbolic of well wishes as the couple and their families celebrate the beginning of their new life together." As a Greek tradition, Jordan Almonds may also be referred to as Koufeta.
Emmett also notes that the candy coating around the raw almond symbolizes sweetening the sometimes bitterness of life, as well as sending hopes and wishes of a sweet future. "Italians traditionally package these candied almonds in bunches of five to represent wishes of health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity," she says. For some, the five almonds also symbolize a number that can’t be divided into two, just like the bond formed by a newly married couple.
As for the shape? Emmett notes the ovular shape of the almond can represent fertility as well. Overall, it’s all about offering a small symbol to usher in a bright, happy future for the couple.
10 Ways to Serve and Display Jordan Almonds
Curious how to best fit Jordan Almonds into your celebration? Read on for 10 sweet ways to incorporate these meaningful treats into your wedding day.
Incorporate Into a Table Setting
Welcome guests to your reception dinner with this meaningful treat. Package Jordan Almonds in a cute box or bag and put them at each place setting. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme to dress them up, and pair it with a little note explaining their meaning.
On a Dessert Table
Incorporating Jordan Almonds into the list of treats on a dessert table or candy bar is a natural fit. Use glass containers to add a pop of white to your table’s overall color palette. "Another more contemporary way might be in 2-by-2-inch acrylic boxes that can be customized with personalized labels, which can also be displayed on the dessert table," offers Battaglia.
In an Apothecary Jar
The shape of a glass apothecary jar provides a beautiful way to show off Jordan Almonds. Consider filling a jar for a dessert table, or let it stand on its own on a separate table. Emmett suggests setting up a small table with the jars, along with a scoop and paper cones. "A simple sign could be placed next to the jars explaining the tradition and why it is special," she says. "This allows an interactive element for the guests, as well as a learning moment to understand that it is not just a quick ceremony snack."
With a Welcome Bag
Why not kick off your wedding celebration with well wishes from the start? Package Jordan Almonds in a charming way, and put them in a wedding welcome bag with other treats and helpful add-ins.
Make Trail Mix
If your wedding weekend takes place in the great outdoors, make a wedding trail mix to fuel your guests! Emmett suggests putting together a small, chic bag using raw almonds, high-quality white chocolate chips, dried cherries, and other favorite nuts or dried fruits. You can add actual Jordan Almonds into the mix or let the raw almonds and white chocolate chips serve as a meaningful treat in their place.
On a Cake
If you really love the look of Jordan Almonds, ask your baker to feature them on your wedding cake. They can be used to create a border around each tier or simply paired with blooms and dotted throughout. To incorporate them even further, opt for an almond-flavored cake.
As a Wedding Favor
This is another classic way to feature Jordan Almonds. Wrap them up in a beautiful way and put together a display of favors for your guests. Put a small sign on the favor table to note the symbolism of this takeaway treat.
Feature the Flavor
Not a fan of the look of Jordan Almonds, but love the symbolism? Incorporate the flavor in a different way! "If you want to continue the tradition in an untraditional way, I suggest a Jordan Almond macaron favor," says Emmett.
Show Them Off
Whether you choose to leave Jordan Almonds at place settings or on ceremony seats, be sure to show them off in clear packaging. "The shape and white color of the almonds are so pretty, so I really recommend choosing packaging that reveals the almonds," says Emmett. Consider clear plastic bags tied with a ribbon, or small paper boxes with a see-through window on top.
With a Note
However you choose to package, present, or gift Jordan Almonds, be sure to include a small note or sign. This will let guests know just what they’re for. The Jordan Almond poem is sure to do the trick: "Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat, To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet. Five wishes for the new [couple]: Health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life!"