Jordan Almonds: A Sweet Tradition with a Colorful History

jordan almonds

Jordan almonds, also known as sugared almonds, confetti (in Italy), or kofta (in Greece), are a delightful treat with a long and interesting history. These little candies, featuring a whole almond nestled within a hard candy shell, are a popular choice for weddings and celebrations.

This article dives into the world of almonds, exploring their origin stories, their symbolic meanings, and how to incorporate them into your special occasions.

A History Dipped in Sugar: Where Do Jordan Almonds Come From?

The exact origin of Jordan almonds remains a bit of a mystery, with two main theories:

  • The Mediterranean Connection: Some believe the name originates from a specific type of almond grown near the Jordan River. However, there’s little evidence to support this claim.
  • A Sweet Evolution: A more likely scenario traces almonds back to honey-coated almonds enjoyed in ancient times. Legend has it that a confectioner named Julius Dragatus served these “dragati” at weddings and other celebrations. With the rise of sugar in the 15th century, the honey coating was replaced by the now-familiar hard candy shell.

Beyond the Candy Shell: The Symbolism of Jordan Almonds

Jordan almonds are more than just a tasty treat; they carry symbolic meaning, particularly in wedding traditions.

  • Bittersweet Beginnings: The almond itself represents life’s inevitable challenges.
  • A Sugary Coating: The hard candy shell symbolizes the sweetness of love and joy.
  • Unity in Numbers: Traditionally, Jordan almonds are presented in odd numbers (typically 3, 5, or 7) signifying the indivisible bond between the couple.

Five Wishes, Five Almonds:

In some cultures, the number of almonds corresponds to specific wishes for the couple:

  • 1 Almond: Happiness
  • 2 Almonds: Health
  • 3 Almonds: Longevity
  • 4 Almonds: Wealth
  • 5 Almonds: Fertility

A World of Colors: Choosing Your Perfect Jordan Almonds

Jordan almonds come in a delightful array of colors, each with its meaning:

  • **Classic White:**象征纯洁 (xìngzèng chún jié) (symbolizes purity) and new beginnings.
  • Romantic Pastels: Popular for weddings, these represent love, joy, and happiness.
  • Bold and Bright: Perfect for festive occasions, these colors add a touch of vibrancy.

Choosing Your Almonds:

  • Color Coordination: Match the colors to your wedding theme or event décor.
  • Flavor Variations: Explore options like chocolate-dipped or flavored sugar shells.
  • Presentation Matters: Consider decorative boxes, bags, or tulle wrapping.

DIY Delights: Can You Make Your Own Jordan Almonds?

While readily available in stores, making your own Jordan almonds can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Here’s a basic guide:

  • Ingredients: Raw almonds, sugar, water, corn syrup (optional)
  • Equipment: Candy thermometer, saucepan, heavy-bottomed pot


  1. Blanch the Almonds: Briefly boil the almonds to loosen the skins. Remove the skins and dry the almonds completely.
  2. Prepare the Sugar Syrup: Combine sugar, water, and (optional) corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  3. Coating the Almonds: Once the syrup reaches the desired temperature (around 300°F), add the almonds and stir continuously until they are coated in a thin sugar layer.
  4. Building the Shell: Gradually add more sugar syrup in batches, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. This creates the signature hard candy shell.
  5. Color it Up: For colored almonds, add a few drops of food coloring to the final syrup layer.
  6. Drying and Polishing: Once coated, spread the almonds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let them dry completely. You can then polish them gently with a soft cloth for a shiny finish.
jordan almonds


  • The process requires patience and practice.
  • Use a candy thermometer to ensure the sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature for a successful candy shell.
  • Consider using a rotating drum or a large bowl to coat the almonds evenly.

Store-Bought vs. Homemade: A Comparison Table

Conveniencereadily available, various optionsrequires time and effort
Costmay be more expensive depending on quantity and qualitypotentially cheaper in bulk
Customizationlimited optionsfull control over flavors and colors
Fun Factornonea rewarding and personalized experience

Frequently Asked Questions about Jordan Almonds

Here are some of the most common questions people have about almonds:

1. Do Jordan almonds have to be almonds?

While almonds are the traditional choice, some variations use other nuts like hazelnuts or even dried fruits with a similar hard candy coating.

2. Are Jordan almonds gluten-free?

Generally, yes. However, always check the ingredients list, especially if buying flavored varieties, as some flavorings may contain gluten.

3. Are Jordan almonds vegan?

Traditional Jordan almonds are not vegan because they contain honey or beeswax in the sugar coating. However, some vegan options use sugar substitutes and alternative coatings.

4. How long do Jordan almonds last?

When stored properly in an airtight container at room temperature, Jordan almonds can last for several months.

5. How many Jordan almonds should I give per guest?

The number typically ranges from 3 to 5 almonds per guest. You can adjust this based on your budget and preference.

6. What are some alternative wedding favor ideas that incorporate Jordan almonds?

  • Decorative Boxes: Present the almonds in small personalized boxes or decorative bags.
  • Almonds on a Stick: Thread the almonds onto lollipop sticks for a visually appealing treat.
  • Almond Cookies: Bake cookies with chopped almonds or use an almond flour base.

7. Can Jordan almonds be used for celebrations other than weddings?

Absolutely! They are a lovely addition to baby showers, christenings, graduations, or any occasion where you want to share a sweet sentiment.

8. What are some other names for Jordan almonds?

As mentioned earlier, almonds are also known as sugared almonds, confetti (Italy), or kofta (Greece).

9. Is there a difference between Jordan almonds and dragées?

Dragée is a broader term for any candy with a hard candy shell, including Jordan almonds. So, all almonds are dragées, but not all dragées are almonds (think chocolate pearls or colorful candy buttons).

10. Where can I buy Jordan almonds?

Almonds are readily available at grocery stores, specialty candy stores, and online retailers.

jordan almonds


Jordan almonds are more than just a delicious treat; they are a symbol of love, happiness, and unity. Whether you choose to incorporate them into your wedding celebration, or another special occasion, or simply enjoy them as a sweet snack, their rich history and symbolism add a touch of sweetness to life’s journey.


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