Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Marzipan and the Watergate

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The Watergate to me meant Napoleons, cookies, and marzipan-shaped animals long before it was ever associated with Richard Nixon. My parents watched the Watergate Complex rise along the banks of the Potomac River in the 1960s and happily discovered the upscale Watergate Pastry on its lower level. Every family jaunt into D.C. would end with us begging my parents to visit the speciality shop. Occasionally they would relent. If we were lucky, one or more of us children would be dropped off with a parent, skip down the stairs past the saucer-shaped fountains into the cream and sugar-laden patisserie. The other parent would patiently drive around and around the block until we appeared at the curb white box in hand.
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The flavors and scents of the delicacies within this parcel will forever evoke happy childhood memories.

One of the most significant ways my dad showed his love to us was through gift-giving. Occasionally (usually around the Holidays) he would arrive home from work bearing sweet little marzipan animals for us children. It was an utter delight. Not only were they adorable, but to me they were delicious.

My dad never forgot how much I loved marzipan. Even as an adult living in Northern California with my own little family, he hand-carried a special white box all the way across the country containing the precious figurines from the one and only Watergate Pastry.

Marzipan sculptures will forever remind me of my father.
This explains why, on our recent trip to Venice, I literally gasped when I passed this store window. Incredible! I had never seen marzipan creations of this size or type before.
The fish and the artichokes really caught me off guard.
It was fabulous!

18 comments:

Shannon said...

Wow! I can't even make real fish look like fish. What a talent! (Did you try one and did your brain accept the fact that it was marzipan and not fish?!)

Garden of Egan said...

Wow! I can't believe that is the most beautiful presentation.

I've never had marzipan. What a great memory.

Your pictures are amazing.

Ginger said...

That is so neat! I've never had marzipan before, but it sounds wonderful. :)

What a great story from your childhood as well. Thank you for sharing that!

Lisa said...

The world is such an amazing place isn't it? I can't believe what you have discovered. I really loved the connection with your father too.

Betty said...

Thank you, Julie, for bringing back some pleasant memories.

Jennilyn said...

Your dad introduced me to Napoleans from a pastry shop somewhere in DC! He had wonderful gourmet tastes & talents.

Laura said...

Were they tasty? Such works of art! Your dad was one of a kind! I so enjoyed spending time with your family growing up!

Valerie said...

So interesting! I've never tried marpizan...amazing what they can do with it.

Joy For Your Journey said...

Oh my!! That is amazing!! I have also never tried it before. I am not sure why since I have been around it. It just never looks edible. I mean seriously, look at those fish! :-)

Saimi said...

That's the coolest display I've every seen! Wow!! What fun memories for you too!!!

Julie Harward said...

This is so amazing...and what a sweet dad! :D

Laura@livingabigstory said...

You were so blessed to have a father like that -- such a sweet story!

missing moments said...

I've never had a marzipan. But those in the window look so huge! Not sure I could finish one!
What a wonderful childhood memory!

Sue said...

Hi Julie,
Thanks for stopping by. Appreciated your comment.

What a fun blog you have.

The marzipan was unbelievable.
What fun memories to have.

Momza said...

Great photos, Julie! No wonder it took your breath away--fabulous display. Isn't it remarkable how a father's gift is so remembered?

Kristin said...

I'm such a big FAN of marzipan! Hardly anyone else even knows what it is and I think it is the most wonderful treat . . . almost worth planing a trip to Europe for that reason alone. Still loving all the amazing photos!

Kristin

Mrs.Spy said...

I haven't ever had marzipan, all roads end with Jell-o in there parts :)

Mrs.Spy said...

Also, when you have some time, drop me a note with your facebook contact info and we can play Words with Friends together. :)