Nougat is an aerated confection.
The word “nougat” comes from Occitan pan nogat, seemingly from Latin panis nucatus meaning ‘nut bread’.
The consistency of nougat is chewy, and it is used in a variety of candy bars and chocolates.
There are three main types of nougat: white nougat, brown nougat and Viennese or German nougat.
Brown nougat is made with caramelized sugar (and honey), mixed with nuts and/or other flavourings. It is made without egg whites and has a firmer, often crunchy texture.
Viennese or German nougat is essentially a chocolate and nut (usually hazelnut) praline.
Turrón or torrone is a type of white nougat and is typical to southern European. It is frequently consumed as a traditional Christmas dessert in Spain and Italy as well as countries formerly under the Spanish Empire, particularly in Latin America.
The history of the origin of nougat varies with different historians.
Most historians believe that nougat comes from ancient Rome where a sweet made from honey, almonds, and eggs was made and reserved for special functions or as an offering to their gods. The first known documented mention in Italy of torrone was in the year 1441 in Cremona, where at the wedding of Francesco Sforza to Maria Bianca Visconti, a new sweet was created in the couple’s honor.
French historians think that the nougat traces back to a Greek walnut confection known as nux gatum or mougo that was originally made using walnuts.
In the 17th century, Olivier of Serres planted almond trees close to Montelimar. It is thought that the almonds replaced the walnuts in the Greek recipe and evolved into nougat. Today, Montelimar, a small city in the Drome section of southern France is known for their nougat. The first commercial factory opened in the late 18th century and now this city has 14 nougat manufacturers producing this wonderful confection.
In Britain, nougat is traditionally made in the style of the southern European varieties, and is commonly found at fairgrounds and seaside resorts.
The nougat that appears in many candy bars around the world differs from traditional recipes, consisting of sucrose and corn syrup aerated with a whipping agent such as egg white, hydrolyzed soya protein or gelatine and may include vegetable fats and milk powder.
Varieties of nougat are found in Milky Way, Snickers, Reese’s Fast Break, Double Decker, ZERO bars, and Baby Ruth bars.
The largest nougat weighs 1,300 kg (2,866 lb) and was made by Jerome Guigon and Bernard Morin (France) of the company Maître Gourmet, in Montélimar, France, on 20 June 2005. Dimensions: height: 96 cm length: 1,30 m width: 1,12 m 1300 kilos of which: 400 kilos of almonds 26 kilos of pistachios 160 kilos of honey 2 2000 eggs for the egg whites.
The longest nougat is 789.30 metres (2,589.57 ft) and was achieved by Nicola Fiasconaro (Italy), in Mazara del Vallo, Palermo, Italy, on 6 October 2016.