"Turrón" (nougat), much more than a Spanish sweet

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We all know Nougat as that typical Spanish Christmas dessert that delights children and adults alike. In today's post we will talk in a little more detail about the nougat to better understand its importance because it is difficult to believe that that same dessert has been eaten by Spaniards for more than 500 years.

The word "turrón". Although is not sure the word nougat is believed to come from the Latin "torrar" or roast, and as we will see later, the process of elaboration includes the roasting of its ingredients.

Recipe. Nougat is a sweet dough obtained by the cooking of honey (or sugars) to which are incorporated peeled and toasted almonds. Egg white may or may not be added to this dough for its emulsifying. This pasta is subsequently kneaded and traditionally given final form of rectangular tablet or cake. Today, hundreds of varieties of nougat have been introduced that keep the part sweet but not always almonds. Today we can find peanut nougat, brittle, nuts, pistachios, yogurt, Catalan cream and a long etcetera since every year new varieties are introduced.

Tradition. In the Arabic tradition it is very common to find sweets with nuts and honey. For this reason it is believed that by linking this tradition brought by the Arabs with the specific local elaboration in the fifteenth century was born what we know today as nougat. Nougat is already mentioned in the 15th and 16th centuries as a wildly popular sweet in Spain. Its origin in the peninsula is especially in Alicante, where most important nougat factories in the country are still preserved and in Castuera  (Badajoz). 

Varieties. The 2 main varieties of nougat are alicante or "hard" - consisting of a honey dough, sugar, egg white and whole marcona almonds, can also contain wafer - and jijona or "soft" consisting of a ground dough of honey, sugar, egg white and marcona almonds. 

Consumption.  So great is their tradition that nougats account for 74% of the consumption of Christmas sweets in Spain. Its mass consumption moves between impressive numbers. Every year 46 million kilos of nougats are consumed in Spain, which at a weight of approximately 200g per tablet would be 230 million nougat tablets per year, about 5 per person.

It is not surprising that when Spaniards have to spend Christmas abroad the first thing they bring to mind is nougat, sometimes certainly difficult to find. Nougat is not only a sweet, it is linked to thousands of family memories that in new generations born outside Spain are sometimes lost. If you can't spend Christmas in Spain we help you to have your nougat tablets on your table so that your children do not lose these special traditions.

 

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