A form of dragée: Jordan almonds (a.k.a. confetti).
Another form of dragée: "Liebesperlen" sweets (love pearls)

A dragée (play /dræˈʒ/ dra-zhay; from Greek tragêmata "sweets, treats" through French) is a form of confectionery that can be used for decorative or symbolic purposes in addition to consumption.

A classic, popular version of dragée are whole almonds coated with a sugar shell in various colors. Called mulabbas in Arabic, confetti in Italian and Jordan almonds or sugared almonds in English, these confections have a long history, and are traditionally associated with weddings and special celebrations. Throwing or handing out these candies at such occasions (hence the name for the multi-colored paper confetti which usually now replaces them) dates back centuries, and is meant to ensure prosperity, fertility, happiness, and good luck.

The town of Verdun, France, had acquired a reputation for its dragées by the 13th century. Originally the dragée was a spiced lump of sugar eaten as a digestive after meals.

In Spain, Casinos (a Valencian village) has a famous production of dragées and nougats since 19th century.

The process by which the sugar shell is applied to the center is often known as sugar panning.[1]



More recently, with the introduction of chocolate to the Old World, and chocolate's steady gain in popularity once an eating form was developed in the early 19th century, chocolate dragées in the shape of the original almond sweets, still with the colored candy coating, have become at least as popular as, if not more so than, the original almond version.


A chocolate cake decorated with icing, strawberries, and silver metallic dragées.

A third form of dragée is a small sphere of sugar, used primarily in the decoration of cookies, cakes, and other forms of bakery. These dragées are produced in various sizes, typically 3 and 4 millimeters in diameter. This is larger than nonpareils and smaller than large pearl tapioca.

Silver dragées have long been used for both wedding and holiday food decoration. More recently, metallic gold, copper, and rainbow colors (red, green, blue, etc.), as well as pearlescent colors, have become available.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers the metallic-finish dragées to be inedible, and they are sold with a notice that they are for decorative purposes only. Early in the 20th century, the silver finish may have contained mercury (it does not now). The sale of these dragées was banned for some time. Although the metallic-finish dragées can be purchased in 49 U.S. states, they are no longer sold in California due to a 2003 lawsuit against several sellers.[2] However in other countries (including the United Kingdom) they are classed as food items.

Other forms

A fourth form of contemporary dragée might be almond M&M's – whole almonds in chocolate with a candy shell. These, too, can be ordered in a variety of colors for special occasions. However, historically correct or not, calling M&M's dragées may be a little old-fashioned in attitude or style.

Mentos are another common "chewy dragee", named because of their hard candy shell and soft center. This description and labelling is used in Europe and Asia; the common American names are mints and candy.

In Europe, the term "dragee" may be used to describe any sugar coated confection, including nuts, raisins, chocolate or licorice pieces.

Fruit Dragees are another common "cold pan dragee", produced and distributed in North America by the Dilettante Chocolatiers.

See also


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  • dragée — [ draʒe ] n. f. • XIVe; dragie déb. XIIIe; p. ê. altér. lat. tragemata, gr. tragêmata « friandises » 1 ♦ Confiserie formée d une amande, d une noisette, etc., enrobée de sucre durci. Boîte, cornet de dragées. Coupe à dragées. ⇒ drageoir. Dragées… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Dragee — Dragée Pour les articles homonymes, voir Dragée (homonymie). Des petits lots de dragées sont parfois offerts lors de grandes occasions. La dragée est une confiser …   Wikipédia en Français

  • dragée — DRAGÉE. s. f. Amande, pistache, aveline et petits fruits couverts de sucre durci. Dragée musquée. Boîte de dragées. [b]f♛/b] On appelle aussi Dragée, Le menu plomb dont on se sert pour tirer aux oiseaux. Grosse dragée, petite dragée, menue dragée …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • dragée — DRAGÉE. s. f. Certaine sorte de graine, ou de petits fruits secs couverts de sucre durci. Dragée musquée. boëte de dragée. On appelle aussi, Dragée, Le menu plomb dont on se sert pour tirer aux oiseaux, &c. Grosse dragée. petite dragée. menuë… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Dragee — Sn mit Guß überzogene Pille erw. fach. (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus ml. drageia Zuckerwerk , dann angepaßt an frz. dragée f. überzuckerte Früchte u.ä. . Zugrunde liegt seltenes l. tragemata Naschwerk, Nachtisch (auch eine besondere Sorte… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • dragee — n. 1. sugar coated medication. Syn: drag[ e]es. [WordNet 1.5] 2. silver coated candy bead for decorating cakes. [WordNet 1.5] 3. sugar coated nut or fruit piece. [WordNet 1.5] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dragée — [...s̶c̶h̶e̱; aus gleichbed. frz. dragée] s; s, s od. w; , n [...e̱en]: mit einem Zuckerüberzug versehene Arzneipille …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • dragée — Dragée, Quasi Tragée, Il vient de Tragema. Sunt autem Tragemata, secundae mensae. Dragée aux chevaux, Farrago, Ocymum …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Dragée — (fr., spr. Drascheh), überzuckerte Würzkörner …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Dragée — (franz., spr. schē ), mit einer Mischung aus Zucker und Tragant oder aus Zucker, Stärkemehl und Gummi überzogene Mandeln, Anis etc.; auch zusammengerollte Papierstreifen mit aufgedruckten Versen (D. zum Werfen im Karneval), Gebilde aus Tragant… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dragée — (frz. Drascheh), überzuckerte Würzkörner etc …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon