At Christmas time in Spain the shops start to fill up with a Spanish specialty – Turrón. There’s every sort you can imagine, from all the big brand cake & dessert factories – chocolate flavour, crunchy, squishy, with pistachios, with candied fruit, rock hard, with egg yolks, toasted – all sorts of colours and of course all levels of quality!
Turrón is a traditional sweet of Arabic origin and has been popular for centuries. It is said that the Moors invented turrón over 500 year ago in Jijona, a small town about 30 miles north of Alicante. The two original varieties are the duro (hard) and blando (soft) with the main ingredients being whole roasted almonds, honey and egg whites. There are several different qualities of turrón. There’s strict quality control over the labelling of turrón, with the highest level called Suprema which means the soft turrón must contain at least 60% almonds and the hard 64% almonds.
Every Christmas when we visit friends and neighbours at the end of the meal great chunks of turrón are placed on the table. It has never been one of my favourite delicacies until I made my own – this version is seriously awesome. It doesn’t contain any of the normal ingredients (whole roasted almonds, honey nor egg whites), is super easy to make and is a great gift.
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