The modern “concept “ of dragees . is quite recent and was invented only when the use of modern sugar started to be popular; that is to say when first sugars started being imported from Western India’s. Since then , the recipe has been transmitted for generations until today.
The dragees are manufactured in special coating pans made of cupper (in our days quite common is the use of pans made of steel) that rotates constantly during the process of coating the almond with sugar. In fact almonds are put with a special water solution of sacrose that evaporates with the heat leaving a layer of sugar all around the almond.
Other phases of work are necessary to make a nice dragees: the honing and the polishing , that through mechanical processes make the surface , originally irregular and lined, perfectly smooth. The process, due to the delicacy of the ingredients and of the different processes, is very laborious and can last up to three days.
The use of Dragees, as a delicous bon bon to present to the guests during important occasions, is witnessed by important artists and writers such as Boccaccio, Manzoni, Goethe.