Torrone: Tracing the Origins of the Beloved Tasty Italian Nougat

Torrone: Tracing the Origins of the Beloved Tasty Italian Nougat

Alessandro Clemente

If you grew up in Italy, you could always find it. An uncle, your mother’s coworker, a school mate and many more people will surely give you some Torrone, also known as the Italian nougat. It’s either an Italian soft nougat, chocolate-filled one, or either a plain Torrone; the choices are unlimited. You can share it with those who are around you, eat it by yourself, or kids even leave it on their socks so Santa can have some midnight snacks. No matter when or where and what kind of Italian nougat is it, it will never be a Christmas season and a holiday table won’t be complete without it. 

What is Torrone?

Torrone is one of the most popular Italian snacks, which is an Italian nougat candy to be specific. It has become a Christmas symbol for Italians -- especially when it’s paired with panettone and pandoro. This Italian nougat candy is made up of sugar, honey, egg white, some toasted nuts or almonds. It is wrapped in an edible rice paper and is most of the time formed in a rectangular-shaped tablet and a round cake. 

History

Many people are interested in when, where, and how a specific type of food originated, especially when what we know today has been a product of countless retelling. However, it is said that this is traced back in the Roman Empire when Marco Terenzio Marrone, a prolific writer and a politician as well wrote about a tasty “Cupeto” which is still an identifier of the Italian nougat (torrone). 

Although there are some guesses that people in the Middle ages can buy Italian nougat -- the best ones -- in the Middle East. The honey almond nougat has become popular and is loved by many in the said era. They prepare it during the Christmas season and other holidays that are important for them. 

Italian nougat was made by bakers after they’re done making bread until the last century. Aside from bakers, candy makers and pastry chefs also make this snack. Later on, some factory buildings are established to mass-produce and industrialize the said tasty product. Modern technology and pieces of machinery make good products, those with the right type of crunch and without excessive moisture. 

Nowadays, Italian nougat is already known as a national sweet snack that is sought-after not only by locals in the peninsula but foreigners too. Almost every town in Italy, no matter how big or small, have their very own secret recipe. 

Conclusion

You can create, or you can buy Italian nougat products, your choice -- although it is very easy to make the said snack in the comfort of your own home. A homemade nougat recipe can be found online. Kids can help their grandmothers in preparing it as part of the family’s Christmas tradition. Most of the time, Italians make torrone during winter, which is ideal since it’s cool and dry. If it’s prepared when the day is warm or humid, the mixture they make can be sticky and may not be set accurately.

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