Centuries ago, European aristocrats would honour their wedding guests with small trinket boxes made of crystal, porcelain or even jewel encrusted gold & silver. Known as “bonbonnieres”, these beautiful little boxes would contain sweet confections considered as symbols of wealth and royalty.
Weddings were thought to be lucky – and by giving bonbonnieres, or wedding favours as they are now known, the happy couple were seen to be passing some of their good fortune onto their guests. But sugar was a precious commodity few could afford so many bridal couples would offer their guests tokens such as love knots made from ribbon and lace. Others would create little embroidered linen bags filled with plain almonds. Typically five – which were said to represent; health, wealth, happiness, fertility & longevity.
By the 13th Century sugar became more affordable and almonds were coated with sugar for special occasions such as weddings. These early sugared almonds were known as confetti. Over the years, sugared almonds evolved into the coloured, hard candy shelled confections we are familiar with today. Wrapped in delicate fabrics and tied with ribbon, they soon became the “standard” wedding favour.
Ginger as a symbol of love and desire
Since around 500 BC the mystical and healing properties of ginger have been associated with love, passion and fertility. South Pacific islanders believed ginger’s warming properties were effective in love potions and spells, while others believed ginger had magical qualities to arouse desire. Madame du Barry, the infamous mistress of King Louis XV of France allegedly served ginger to all her lovers, including the King.
This post was supplied by www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk