At this point, you’ve probably had the pleasure of meeting various nougat confections, from sticky-sweet, the type that makes finger licking at the dinner table absolutely acceptable, and brittle kind, making you zone out from the world with crunching sounds in your ears. Whether you hate it or love it, you must freshen up your palates and forget everything that has happened between you and nougat. “Why,” you ask?! Because you’re going to meet Spanish turron, and, trust us, this will be the time you truly get to know what’s gourmet nougat!
Let’s be honest - most of the time, we’d instead stick to time-tested treats, all-time favorites that never miss. However, while cozied up in our cocoon of classic comfort sweets, we usually miss out on worldwide gourmet delicacies. Think of all the intriguing comestibles you have turned down that might have easily become the mainstays of your menu, huh? So, don’t get all panicky about turron - a traditional Spanish sweet that has been stealing the palates of millions for centuries - there’s gotta be something to explain this undying rage, right?! So, we advise you to live up to your new year’s resolutions - there has to be “try new things” on your list, so, why not make those things utterly delicious? Get ready; we’re going to take a little trip to Spain!
Types & Grades of HRH Spanish Turron
Even though classic Spanish nougat, or turron, is the mixture of tree nuts, usually almonds, luscious honey, and egg whites - making it on your own is way more challenging than that simple formula makes it sound. It even looks like there’s not a lot going on at first glance - however, in reality, turron demands undivided attention to detail - monitoring sugar temperature, beating and mixing eggs exactly when needed. You can’t forget about the humidity levels of your kitchen either. So, if you’re determined to take on the challenge of it, we can’t be more proud. However, if you prefer to skip to the delicious part right ahead, read along to enter the delectable world of one of the most famous nougat varieties - turron from Spain!
According to various sources, the Spanish turron, dated back to the early Middle Ages, must be inspired by the traditional delight - halva of the Moors. While both sweets contain honey, egg whites, and nuts, halva is made with semolina and often includes dried fruits, resulting in a crumblier texture. So, Spaniards, having an unmatched sweet tooth and culinary intuition, experimented and created the first nougat variety in Jijona, famous for its abundant produce of almonds and wildflower honey, and to this day, the town’s economic life is focused solely on making the best authentic turron. However, it’s obvious they didn’t stop there; Spain has created so many specialty nougats that we’re forced to pick your (delicious) poison.
Before we dive into the types of nougat treats, there’s a simple classification you must get familiar with to make your shopping experience run smoothly. Spain takes its turron seriously - with a great reputation comes an even greater responsibility to make sure everything is up to standards. So, it’s only natural that turrón is classified into three main categories: “Suprema,” “Extra,” and “Estándar.” Easy to guess, “Suprema” denotes the finest grade turron, and it’s not a label everyone can prettify themselves with. For Spanish nougat to be classified as “Suprema,” the product must contain at least 60% almonds!
While there are two basic types of the soft and hard variety, there’s so much more going on in turron vocabulary you should know about! Let’s start with the classics, shall we?!
Turrón de Jijona (turron blando) is a soft confection made by infusing sugar and honey mixture with chopped almonds and the natural oil they carry, resulting in a smoother texture and enchanting aroma. Jijona variety is picky-eater approved since it’s easier to cut, serve, and nibble to tie you over the afternoon slump. The fabled treat is IGP (The Protected Geographical Indication) preserved, ensuring all stages of production take place in the town of Jijona!
To give creamy, soft delight a taste, El Artesano Jijona turron will be the perfect start; however, you have to keep in mind that there’s no way to ever upgrade from the “Suprema.” It simply doesn’t get any better than El Artesano. Made by unbelievably generous 70% of fabled Marcona almonds, soft Spanish nougat carries unmatched sweetness, the delectable aroma, and a one-of-a-kind buttery feel. What can we say? It’s all because of Marcona almonds; they’re known as Queen of Almonds for a good reason. Of course, with us, there’s a treat for every dietary need, too - e.g., Turron de Jijona by 1880 is gluten-free, so there’s no stopping you!
The popularity of the Jijona variety doesn’t mean Turron de Alicante gets a bad rep, as the hard, brittle candy from Alicante is equally delicious. Long-time admirers know exactly how to pair the gourmet specialty - the secret is to dip it. The Alicante variety is also preserved by the IGP denomination!
So, if you like your sweets on the crunchier side, then we should go for a quick ride to Alicante. El Artesano's hard turron has a “Suprema” quality label prettifying the package, so you know exactly what to expect. A lot of crunch of toasted almonds! The classic festive sweet will taste leaving-you-speechless good when dunked into a steaming cup of your favorite brew or cuppa. Feel free to replace marshmallows with crunchy turron pieces to elevate your hot chocolate and watch the ultimate chocolate concoction soften El Artesano's specialty!
And after you come back for more, opt for pomp and exquisite Imperial turron torta by 1880, which will look unexpectedly good on your holiday dinner parties. Brimmed with 65% of toasted almonds, turron torta will look even more enticing when decorated; we’re confident, just a drizzle of chocolate ganache with mint will do the trick. Serve this treat at the end of the dinner like a true Spanish gourmand and pair it with Oloroso sherry!
Now it’s time for the extraordinary Yema Tostada! Unlike its counterparts, this delight is made with egg yolks, hence the eye-catching yellow look, capable of making anyone’s mouth water. If you look closely, you’ll notice that unique variety comes with a dark brown top, achieved by not-at-all-accidental hot iron pressing! So, if you’re looking for the one with a perfectly chewy, rich, decadent, and somehow creamy texture, congratulations, you’ve found the perfect fit!
Soft Yema Tostada by 1880 is a velvety smooth delight bound to satisfy the most demanding gourmands. The condensed milk adds a delicate sweetness to the treat, transforming simple nougat into an infallible mood-lifter. However, if you’re after sugar-free desserts to balance out your holiday snacking marathon, El Almendro’s special edition Yema Tostada is equally delicious. Enjoy it with syrup drizzled or paired with your favorite ice cream!
Let’s move on to some of our favorite modern renditions of traditional turron! Our #1 has to be a chocolate turron, hands down. However, for those familiar with the history of Spanish cuisine, the yumminess of this variety will come as a little wonder since the Spaniards were the first to get their hands on aromatic beans to make what would soon be known as the ultimate sweet - chocolate! Trust us; they’ve mastered everything about it! That’s why Turron De Chocolate comes in every possible flavor and consistency from soft, almost mousse-like to crunchy, crispy delights - chocolate turrones can do pretty much anything. If you want to go bold and slightly bitter - then is the match made in heaven. Delicately packed with crisped rice, this Spanish delight will taste like a breath of fresh air for your snacking marathons.
However, for something a little more elegant, turn to Delaviuda Turron de Chocolate with raisins! While the confection is layered with dark chocolate coating, it’s also filled with luscious raisins and rum, resulting in a unique flavor mood, perfect for celebrations!
If you’re just like us and can’t choose between this incredible selection of Spanish excellence, the variety pack of El Almendro’s chocolate turrones will be perfect for you! The pack includes chocolate-almond turron, a bar-like treat with crunchy inside, and of course, an almonds+hazelnut combination. And remember: Christmas season or not, Spanish chocolate turron tastes impeccable when paired with a steaming cup of coffee!
We have to mention - Turron sin Azucar - sugar-free turron, a new popular addition to the traditional Spanish assortment. Sugar is an essential ingredient of nougat, and Spanish turrón is no exception. However, considering those who’d like to control the intake level, many Spanish brands have developed a unique range of sugar-free turrones. Usually, Turron sin Azucar is made with a higher content of almonds to balance out the texture and flavor mood of nougat delights. So, you won’t be compromising beloved flavors. By simply perusing our collection of El Almendro, you will be greeted with an extensive selection of sugar-free turrones, and there’s every variety, too: Yema Tostada, soft & hard!
We know, stunned at the luxury of choice, it’s hard not to feel scrambled when choosing a new confection to sweeten up your post-holiday season or daily menu. However, we’d like to think we made it a bit easier for you by introducing you to turron and all the specialty sweet treats our yummy Spanish grocery store has to offer. So, if you’re an occasional try-ist, a devoted fan of turron, or want to impress your highbrow connoisseur friend, you know just what to do - browse our selection of Spanish turron!