Turron is a beloved Spanish dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. This delicious nougat has a long and fascinating history, with origins dating back to the Moorish occupation of Spain. Today, turron is enjoyed all over the world and is a staple of holiday celebrations and special occasions. In this post, we'll explore the history of turron, its ingredients, and why it has become such a beloved part of Spanish cuisine. So sit back, grab some polvorones, and let's dive into the wonderful world of turron!
What is turron?
Turron is a traditional Spanish desset made with almonds, honey, sugar, and egg whites. It is similar to nougat, but typically firmer and more brittle. Turron comes in various types, such as hard and crunchy or soft and chewy, and can be flavored with other ingredients such as chocolate, fruits, and spices.
History of Turron
The history of turron dates back to medieval times, and its origin is believed to be in the town of Jijona in the Alicante region of Spain. The area is well-suited for almond cultivation, and almonds have been a major ingredient in the production of turron for centuries.
The Moors, who ruled much of Spain from the 8th to the 15th centuries, are said to have introduced the concept of combining almonds with honey to create a sweet, energy-dense food. The early versions of turron were likely made by hand, with almonds and honey mixed together and then pressed into molds.
By the 16th century, turron had become a popular treat in Spain, and it was being produced on a larger scale. The town of Jijona became known for its high-quality turron, and many families in the area were involved in the production of the confection.
Over time, the recipe for turron evolved, with new ingredients and variations being added. In addition to almonds and honey, sugar and egg whites became common ingredients, and flavors such as chocolate, fruit, and spices were introduced.
Soft and Hard Turron
When it comes to turron, there are two main varieties: soft and hard. These different textures provide unique taste experiences, and each has its own distinct characteristics. Let's take a closer look at the differences between soft and hard turron.
Soft turron, also known as "Jijona" or "turrón blando", has a chewy and malleable texture. It is made with a higher proportion of almonds and honey, and is beaten to a smooth paste before it is left to set. The final product has a creamy and velvety consistency, with a sweet, nutty flavor.
One of the most popular soft turron varieties is "turrón de Jijona", which originates from the town of Jijona in the Alicante region of Spain. It is made with ground almonds, honey, and sugar, and has a distinct aroma and flavor. It is typically served in small, rectangular slices, and is often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.
Hard turron, also known as "Alicante" or "turrón duro", has a crunchy and brittle texture. It is made with a higher proportion of sugar and egg whites, which are cooked together to create a hard, candy-like consistency. Almonds are added to the mixture, which is then pressed into molds to set.
Hard turron has a sweet and nutty flavor, with a satisfying crunch. It is typically served in large blocks, which are broken into smaller pieces for consumption. It is a popular treat during the Christmas season, and is often served alongside other traditional Spanish sweets.
In summary, soft turron has a creamy and chewy texture, while hard turron has a crunchy and brittle texture. Both varieties are made with almonds, honey, sugar, and egg whites, but the proportions of these ingredients are different. Whether you prefer soft or hard turron, one thing is certain: this traditional Spanish confection is a delicious and timeless treat that is enjoyed by people of all ages.
Modern Flavors of Turron
While traditional turron is made with almonds, honey, sugar, and egg whites, modern variations of this Spanish treat have expanded to include a wide range of flavors. Here are some examples of modern flavors of turron:
Chocolate Turron: Chocolate turron is made by adding cocoa powder or chocolate to the traditional recipe. It is available in both milk and dark chocolate varieties. Some available in our shop are mousse chocolate turron, chocolate with almonds and 70% chocolate turron.
Fruit Turron: Fruit turron is made by adding dried fruit such as figs, apricots, or cherries to the traditional recipe. It adds a sweet and fruity flavor to the nutty taste of the turron.
Coffee Turron: Coffee turron is made by adding coffee flavoring to the traditional recipe. It is a great option for coffee lovers who enjoy a sweet treat.
Coconut Turron: Coconut turron is made by adding shredded coconut to the traditional recipe. The coconut adds a tropical flavor and a chewy texture to the turron.
Spicy Turron: Spicy turron is made by adding spices such as cinnamon, ginger, or chili powder to the traditional recipe. The combination of sweet and spicy flavors creates a unique and delicious taste.
Liquor Turron: Liquor turron is made by adding different types of liquor such as brandy, rum, or Baileys to the traditional recipe. It is a popular choice for adult consumers who enjoy a boozy dessert.
These modern flavors of turron provide a creative and tasty twist on the traditional Spanish confection.
How to serve Turron
Turron is a popular Spanish treat that is often served during the holiday season, but it can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Here are some ways to serve turron:
Sliced: One of the most traditional ways to serve turron is by slicing it into thin pieces. This is particularly true for hard turron, which is often served in large blocks. Simply cut off a small piece with a knife or break off a piece with your hands and enjoy.
Paired with Cheese: Turron can also be served alongside a cheese board. Soft turron pairs well with creamy, mild cheeses, while hard turron goes well with sharp, hard cheeses.
Dipped in Chocolate: For a decadent treat, dip slices of hard turron into melted chocolate. You can use milk, dark, or white chocolate, depending on your preferences.
Topped with Fruit: For a fresh and colorful presentation, serve turron with fresh fruit on top. Soft turron goes well with sliced figs, while hard turron pairs well with sliced apples or pears.
Baked in Desserts: Turron can also be incorporated into desserts such as cakes, brownies, and tarts. Simply chop it up and fold it into the batter before baking.
Whether you serve turron as a standalone snack or incorporate it into a dessert, this traditional Spanish treat is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Other traditional treats that are enjoyed during the Christmas season in Spain.
Roscón de Reyes: This is a sweet bread ring traditionally eaten on the Epiphany (January 6th) in Spain. It is often filled with whipped cream or pastry cream and decorated with candied fruit.
Polvorones: These are crumbly almond cookies that are popular during the holiday season. They are made with almonds, flour, sugar, and lard, and are often flavored with cinnamon or anise.
Mantecados: Similar to polvorones, mantecados are a type of crumbly cookie made with almonds, flour, sugar, and lard. They are often flavored with cinnamon or lemon.
Peladillas: These are sugar-coated almonds that are often served as a sweet snack during the Christmas season.
Mazapán: This is a sweet made with almonds and sugar that is similar to marzipan. It is often shaped into festive figures such as animals or fruits.
Where can I buy turron?
If you are looking to buy turron, you can typically find it at specialty food stores that carry international products. Many online retailers also sell turron, making it easy to order and have it delivered directly to your doorstep.
At L'Española, we specializes in traditional Spanish products, having the widest variety of Turron in America.If you live in the Montreal area, you can visit our physical store in 3811 St Laurent Blvd to see our selection of turron in person. However, if you are located outside of Montreal or prefer to shop online, you can make an order in our online shop.We offer shipping throughout Canada and the United States, so you can enjoy our high-quality turron no matter where you are located.
If you are looking to try different varieties of turron, consider a turron sampler pack. These packs typically include a variety of flavors and textures, allowing you to try different types of turron without having to commit to a whole box of just one flavor.