Christmas period brings home feelings, family, happiness, tasty smells coming from kitchens while cooking typical food, often very caloric, to compensate the winter cold and also a wide range of desserts and sweets. Both in Spain and in Catalonia, we can find a typical dessert called turron, a type of almond nougat, like the Italian “torrone” or the French “nougat”
We have to go back to the 15th Century in the city of Xixona/Jijona, north of Alicante to find some references about the new recipe of “turron”, which might be derived from the Muslim recipe prevalent in parts of Islamic Spain. Nowadays there are hundreds of different tastes of turron, but the 2 most traditional are Alicante Turron and Jijona Turron. The first one is the hard, a compact block of whole almonds in a brittle mass of eggs, honey and sugar. The second one, the Jijona, is soft because almonds are reduced to a paste and the addition of oil makes the matrix chewier and sticky.
A precious legend has it that a King living in Jijona got married with a princess from Scandinavian. She missed the white landscapes from her country specially during Christmas time. To make her happy, he ordered to plant a big number of almond trees all over Jijona. The white flowers of these trees made an awesome white carpet and gave the town a winter air. When trees came to fruition, there were so many almonds that inhabitants of Jijona learnt how to prepare a sweet what is known today as the turron of Jijona.