Wedding dragees & sugared almond favours
In ancient Greece there was a tradition when sweet dragees were served as a dessert with honey, fruits & nuts. Later a similar custom occurred in ancient Rome & closer to our times, in Europe, aristocratic families used those particular sweets during large celebrations.
In the Middle Ages dragees appear to be displayed as a treat at every wedding. It is said that from the beginning almonds were mixed with honey & later they became sugar-coated. However, in some areas instead of dragees, people celebrated with small donuts flavored with almonds or other nuts.
The word “koufeto” (Greek word for dragee) comes from the Italian word “confetto”. In French this sweet is known as “dragee” which probably comes from the Latin word “tragemata” or ancient Greek “tragima” meaning “nut”.
In France, King Louis tended to give his guests a gift as a sign of their visit appreciation. One of those thank you gifts were candies packed in crystal boxes. Those candies were called the bon-bon & this is how the name “bomboniere” appeared.
Today every Greek wedding & every wedding in Greece has dragees as the first and basic sweet offered to guests by the couple. Τhis is a symbol of thanking guests for being a part of such an important day.
Dragees are served in 3 or 5 pieces per bomboniere favor – always in an odd number as a symbol of couple’s indivisibility.
Almond, as a seed from which a new life can be derived, is a symbol of fertility. The white sugar coating symbolizes purity as the wedding bridal dress. Combination of bitter almond & sweet sugar symbolizes good & bad days of marriage.
The wrapping of bomboniere favor has changed its aesthetic form through the years. The packaging may be made of any material, not only the crystal as it was exclusively used in the past. But the most important is that the couple must choose one bomboniere favor with an intention that their guests will keep it or remember it forever.
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