After pretzels which originate in the 7th century and is considered one of the oldest snacks, here comes nougats which can be traced back to the 10th century. The word "Nougat" is french and mean "nut cake".
Many countries claim parentage to these sweet confect including Italy, Spain, France and Iran. Each country has their own version but most of them are made with whipped egg white and topping up with crunchy, savoury nuts.
White nougats - Torrone
There are both hard and soft nougats. Hard nougats are usually made with sugar while soft ones are made with honey. Italian nougats are called Torrone, and is said to have been invented for a wedding celebration. Each city in Italy has their own unique nougats snack. Noteworthy ones are hard nougats with hazelnuts in Piedmont and 100% Sardinian honey and no sugar in Sardinia.
Torrone nougats are the most common in the world, using only beaten egg whites which give it the white in colour. They are some times found sandwiched between 2 pieces of rice paper to prevent the snacks from sticking together. We also see this version in Taiwan and Australia and with milk added to make them more creamy.
The second more common version in the world is the brown nougats, which are usually made without addition of egg whites and uses caramelized sugar instead to give it the brown colour. With up to 60% nuts added instead, the result is a more crunchy and brittle snack.
Rest of the world
In Spain, hard nougats are commonly eaten during Christmas season. Most of them are produced in Jijona and Alicante. These almond nougat use sugar, honey, almonds and eggs and is also called the "Turrón de Alicante or Jijona".
In Iran, the sweetener used for the Persian nougats "Gaz" is not sugar or honey but the sweet sap of gaz-angebin, which is a native plant. Persian New Year typically celebrate their festivals with these sweet treats and they love adding pistachios into their nougat snacks.
In Africa, dried fruit bits are widely used instead of nuts to make nougats. In Vienna, nougats are made with cocoa butter and cocoa mass, giving a chocolate blend snack that can be eaten as desserts or candies. It taste somewhat like a chocolate praline and hazelnuts are added.
Nougat as candies
As a candy, nougats are not made with sugar and egg whites, but rather with sucrose, corn syrup and gelatin. Popular brands that incorporate the nougats chewiness include Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Mars bars, Reese’s Whipps.
Here at SnackFirst, who proudly brings you the world of treats, we love our chewy nougats quite a lot. Made in New Zealand, these tasty snacks give the maximum amount of oomph in your mouth. The chewy texture is unlike anything you have ever eaten!
We have a few varieties:
Try some today and let us know what other snacks you want to see listed!