If you have not tried one of these sweets before, you are surely wondering what is nougat? In fact, the answer to this question is short and simple. Nougat is a candy made with walnuts, sugar, and honey. And, sometimes egg whites are added. Also, this candy is a sticky substance that gets stuck on your teeth. Mainly when eating Milky Way, Snickers, or Baby Ruth. But, the ingredients are not the same.
The natural is much more exquisite than the candy bar component. Because these bars are packed with preservatives and corn syrup.
What is nougat: History
Nougat has been around for a long time. At first, it gained popularity in France during the 17th century. However, some researchers claim that the origin dates back several centuries. Or, in other cases, millennia ago. In Italy, this sweet is known as “torrone” while in Spain as nougat. This sweet is considered a French delicacy and the word transcends the term nut.
The white candy is made with honey, sugar, nuts, and egg whites. The consistency is smooth, sweet, and with a more powerful flavor compared to synthetic nougat. On the other hand, the brown one does not have egg products. This is only made from honey or sugar as a caramelized base. For this reason, it gets a darker color. Also, dried fruits and chocolate are found in any nougat. But, in general, this sweet is enjoyed alone.
This sweet has few ingredients, for this reason, it is possible to change its flavor slightly. For example, a white candy with pistachio will affect your taste buds differently. It is compared to an almond-based version. Generally, the ingredients are the same, but a little change can be great. Here, you can take into consideration the differences in an assorted candy box. In order to get a little idea of what we are talking about or want to refer to.
The legend of nougat and the princess
In Jijona, there is a legend that narrates the origin of nougat in the form of an account:
“At that time, the King married a Scandinavian princess. For this reason, she had to come to these lands, leaving behind her cold country of origin. The princess felt very sad not being able to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of her country full of perpetual snow. The king, desperate to see the new queen down, had an idea. It was about planting thousands of almond trees throughout its territories, around the castle.
In this way, when the almond trees bloomed, they seeded the landscape with white hues. Therefore, everything seemed snowy, and the princess regained her happiness. The inhabitants of Jijona, from that moment on, learned to collect the fruits of the almond trees. And, to treat them, thus preparing the first samples of this candy and derivatives.”
A totally natural candy
Without a doubt, the flavor of homemade nougat is easy to manipulate. However, it’s best to hurry up and eat it because it’s not made to last that long. This sweet can be damaged, just like other natural ingredients. Mainly, the nougat that is lighter in color. Although the candy is not damaged, the ingredients will not mix properly.
Snickers are billed for containing nougat. However, you will not find this in the list of ingredients, unlike chocolate and milk. Instead, you will need to search the list of 19 ingredients to find related items. Also, nuts, corn syrup, and the rest are there but near the bottom of the list.
On the other hand, some wrappers specify what type of nougat is inside the candy. But, only rarely is the brown or white color noticeable. For example, the Milky Ways use malt-flavored nougat. And, on the other hand, the Milky Way Midnight nougat has a vanilla flavor. Baby Ruth has thick nougat with chocolate. However, the manufacturers do not disclose the specific flavor.
In short, what is nougat? It is a chewy candy that sticks to the teeth. And that, without a doubt, everyone should know and try. All the textures and markings make the nougat difficult to classify. In addition, it must be made clear that there is a similarity between natural and homemade nougat. Also, what you will find inside a chocolate bar is different.
All-natural things are more exquisite. In fact, some people say that the candy bars are an infusion of the nougat. But, here the tastes of each person have a lot to do.
How is artisan nougat made?
Apart from the question: What is nougat? The question also arises: How are these sweets made? First, it should be noted that nougat is a completely natural product. Because it has almond, honey, sugar, and egg white. In fact, at first, the nougat was made without sugar. Instead, people used honey because that food was not commercialized.
Then the twentieth century was when the formulations were introduced more commonly. Mainly because of the boom of this industry in Cuba. Thanks to this, some Jijonencos set up their factories where this sweet stood out at Christmas.
The production of nougat also underwent changes due to the Industrial Revolution. Specifically due to machinery, boilers, and the use of steam. Because, in the 20th century, this helped the candy to be made in large quantities. And, the nougats reached different parts of the world. Above all, to Latin America where it exists due to cultural similarities. For example, in Argentina nougat is consumed in summer. Something that would never happen in Spain.
Boitex is the favorite machine for making nougat. Because soft nougat is made here. Belonging to Jijona, the city where artisan nougat originated. It is a machine where the crushed mixture of egg white, sugar, honey, and almonds is placed. Then it is passed through stone mills. In order for the mixture to take on texture and the ingredients to compact.
This machine has the peculiarity that it is hot. Therefore, the mixture is not made cold by steam boilers. The heat helps the ingredients to compact to give texture and the characteristic that represents them.