April 4, 2012

Unique Bonjour liqueur almonds from Arcadia



It's Easter time. In many countries, it is traditional to eat almonds at this time of the year. The small fruit is often covered with colored sugar or chocolate. We eat those almonds too. But in Portugal there is a special kind of almonds that I believe are unique in the world. They are called Bonjour Almonds and their price is high, 36 euros per Kilo. It's a small luxury. That small amount you see above cost me more than 5 euros. In fact, they are not exactly almonds, they are dragees. You can buy these anytime of the year in a little store at Oporto. It's called Arcádia.

The small and traditional shop is the visible face of Arcádia, the candy factory. Skillful hands create delicious treats, almonds, and chocolates. Margarida Bastos, along with his brother, John Bastos, manages the Arcadia. The grandfather of Margaret and John opened the Arcadia in 1933 and Bonjour Almonds were inspired by a recipe that he has brought from Paris. Inside of these almonds, there aren't any dried fruits. The multiple layers of sugar are concealing an interior of very sweet syrup. Different shape, different syrup flavor. Not everyone enjoys their taste. I loved it since I was a child. They are all painted and decorated by hand, one by one. You can identify different kinds of beans carrots, strawberries, babies...! They are really cute, a handcrafted item, precious. These were bought at Arcádia. I am going to give it to my nephew but first I photographed it so I could show it to you and tell you this small story.

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