Frutta Martorana are traditional Sicilian sweets made from marzipan and decorated so photorealistically that they resemble real fruit or vegetables. According to legend, their production was started by nuns from the Martorana monastery, who wanted to decorate empty fruit trees in November with these sweets to impress the bishop. Their activity was successful, and since then, these marzipan sweets have become a popular treat.
Plant-based dyes are traditionally used for decoration, and some manufacturers’ products are truly indistinguishable from the real ones. You will most often come across them in Sicily in the provinces of Palermo and Messina.
The basic recipe for marzipan fruit mainly consists of almond flour, and individual pieces of fruit usually do not differ in taste, as the mass used for their production is the same. Only rarely can you find fruit flavored with fruit liqueur.
Frutta Martorana can now be found in stores not only in November, with which they were previously associated, but thanks to their popularity, all year round.
Marzipan fruit is sold by weight (in the store I visited, one kilogram cost 28 EUR), or sellers offer pre-mixed boxes for a fixed price. Would you like to taste Frutta Martorana? Could you confuse them with real fruit or vegetables? In some cases, the confusion is indeed easy.