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Niederegger Marzipan Museum

Above Café Niederegger in Lübeck, Germany, the marzipan manufacturer operates a free museum that retraces the pathways of their signature product. Panels follow the nutty substance’s invention in the Middle East to its present-day popularity in the northern German town along the Trave River. The gallery’s most noteworthy exhibit, however, features a dozen famous figures connected to Lübeck and its prized confection, all immortalized as life-sized statues constructed from pure almond paste.

There are sculptures of figures such as Emperor Charles IV (who declared the German city one of the “five Glories” of the Holy Roman Empire in the 14th century) and Thomas Mann (the Lübeck-born author wrote of marzipan in his novel Buddenbrooks), each made using the company’s original 1806 recipe. Though neither almonds nor sugar are native to Lübeck, its geographic posturing as a trade hub gave artisans access to the ingredients. Locals began producing their own marzipan in the 18th century, when sugar was a delicacy. Recipes dictated no more than 30:70 ratios of sugar-to-almond.

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