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13 Dec · alleventshotels · No Comments

Turron, a traditional Christmas dessert

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Turron, the classis sweet for Christmas

Both Catalonia and Spain share the tradition of eating turron by Christmas.

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.

turrón de Jijona

The Turrones of Alicante and Jijona have designation of origin

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When we talk about turrones with name of towns, we cannot forget the delicious Turron of Agramunt, made in the region of Lleida in Catalonia at least since the 17th century. This turron is made with a careful mixed of almonds, egg white, sugar and honey. It is presented, covered by sheets of wafer, in individual bars of different sizes or in packages of many bars.

The recipe to prepare a good turron is to make a dough with honey and sugar (white egg is optional) together with the almonds. This is the basic dough which can be combined with more different tastes, like chocolate (very popular), coffee, crema catalana or some more modern like gin tonics, mojito, lemon or yogurt.

turrón de Alicante
turrones

Together with turrones as desserts in a Christmas table, you cannot miss marzipan and polvores and in Catalonia, les neules, some wafers in a cylinder form ideal to be dipped in a glass of cava during the long dinner-table conversation during which children put their feet on their chairs to recite the Christmas poem learnt at the school.

Turrones, neules and marzipan are the perfect ending of every Christmas meal.


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