Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Confetti – eat it or throw it?

Many English ears hear the word confetti and think of the small pieces of decorative tissue paper gleefully thrown at weddings. The origins of confetti are Italian, and while confetti is very much a feature of Italian weddings, it’s actually more of a culinary than visual treat.

Confetti are traditionally sweets – candied or sugar-coated almonds handed out at times of celebration. Almonds have long been a signifier of health, long-life and prosperity and different colored coatings mark the occasion. Christenings and baptisms feature pink or blue coatings (depending on the sex of the child), graduations red, engagements green and marriages, white of course.

At weddings, it’s meant to be the bride who hands these to guests as a thank you for sharing her special day, each almond presented on a thin piece of tissue paper. It’s easy to imagine the guests eating the confetti almond and playfully tossing the paper it came on back at the bride – which is where the idea of confetti at modern weddings came from.