If you have never had the pleasure of marzipan in your candy, you are missing out. If you are allergic to almonds, well, I pity you. Almonds are one of my four favorite "essential foods" (which I will define and blog about at some future time). For now, I will just regale you with tales of the heights to which Germans take their marzipan (which they take very seriously...)
Photo 1: a display case in a cafe in Kreuzberg, in Berlin. In the rear center is a pile of Mandelhörnchen, the horseshoe-shaped marzipan logs coated with sliced almonds and with the ends of the horseshoe dipped in dark chocolate. This is a fairly standard pastry, and it is TO DIE FOR. It is densely filled with a generous dose of marzipan.
(Note: the round cakes next to the Mandelhörnchen are surrounded by a thin layer of marzipan around the sides; my son got one of these, and he let his parents try it. Inside it has cake and cream; the marzipan is the best part.)
Photo 2: discovered at the grocery store yesterday: Pflaume in Madeira (plums in Madeira). The name doesn't do it justice. It has a plum-flavored marzipan-like confection atop a layer of pure marzipan, all coated in a generous layer of dark chocolate. (And no, it does not taste like prunes.) The hint of Madeira wine is enough to give you a little bit of a buzz -- just icing on the cake of delectability.
The experience of eating a Pflaume in Madeira is akin to eating a Mozartkugel, but much better. I'm not knocking Mozartkugels, it's just that these are better. (To be precise, I've only ever eaten the German mass-produced imitation Mozartkugels, which I learned a lot about from Wikipedia; here they are sold in Aldi.)
Photo 3: Then there's the Rittersport Marzipan candy, which I LOVE. In the U.S. we pay a hefty price for it (I don't recall exactly, at least $3 or $4). Here in Berlin it costs 0.85 Euros (that's aobut $1.20 U.S.). I always thought this was high-quality candy, but the Germans don't think so; my husband's German cousin refers to Rittersport as "Kinder Schokolade" (i.e., chocolate for children).
Photo 4: I am embarrassed to say that I have never tried the tempting confection pictured at right, even though it is sold in a market stall in front of my apartment building every Saturday morning. For one thing there are about 30 different varieties; for another, I'm intimidated by the language barrier in trying to make such a specialized purchase. The labels all claim they are made from marzipan. They are punctuated with a variety of nuts and dried fruits. It is my goal to buy at least one or two next Saturday and try it. I'll let you know what happens.