Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Nougat is a term used to describe a variety of similar traditional confectioneries made with sugar and/or honey, roasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and most recently macadamia nuts are common), and sometimes chopped candied fruit. The consistency of nougat can range from soft and chewy to hard and crunchy depending on its composition, and it is used in a variety of candy bars and chocolates. The word nougat comes from Occitan pan nogat, which means nutbread.

There are three basic kinds of nougat: The first, and most common, is white nougat (which appeared in Cremona, Italy in the early 15th century and later in Montélimar, France, in the 18th century) is made with beaten egg whites and honey. The second is brown nougat (referred to as "mandorlato" in Italy and nougatine in French) is made without egg whites and has a firmer, often crunchy texture. The third is the Vianesse and German nougat which is essentially a chocolate and nut (usually hazelnut) praline.

In southern Europe, where it is likely to have originated, nougat is largely associated with the Christmas season.

Turron, a candy related to the traditional French nougat, is produced in Spain (turrón, or, in Catalan, torró), in Cremona, Taurianova and Sicily in Italy (where it is called torrone, though the most famous Sicilian nougat is called cubbaita), Greece (where it is known as mandolato), Malta (where it is known as qubbajd and sold in village festivals).

Nougat is also enjoyed in Australasia and the Far East, where it is sold as a gourmet confection. Golden Boronia, Mondo Nougat, and Flying Swan are the most widely known manufacturers in Australasia specializing in the production of European style nougat all year round as opposed to the many European manufacturers which treat the product as a seasonal specialty. The popularity of nougat in Australasia has primarily been driven by the Australian manufacturers as well as some imported varieties from South Africa and Europe.

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