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Algarve sweets show a strong Arab influence, which for centuries marked life and culture in the south of the Iberian Peninsula. From the full range of Algarve confectionery, there is one ingredient that never goes unnoticed: almond paste, not only because of the taste, but for the way the sweets are sold, formed into the figures of fruits, flowers and even birds. It is this mixture of almonds, sugar and eggs, dyed with different colours, which helps give a realistic touch to the fruits and flowers which the sweets represent. Sugar and eggs come from the tradition of convent-made sweets. Almonds, also associated with the Algarve landscape, are a reminder of its Arab heritage. The living proof of the connection between these almond paste figures and the Arab presence in the south of Portugal is that in some North African countries there are also sweets shaped into various forms from nature and everyday life. But there are other temptations: in the Algarve there are Dom Rodrigos, Morgadinhos and many other specialities made from almonds, honey and fig paste.

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