Spanish Turrón for Cool People
Yes, we know. Turrón, or turron, is one of the most recognizable Spanish products in the world and, for some reason, this traditional sweet that is typically linked to the Christmas season, always pops up on the "wish list" of things our friends living abroad hope to get in their holiday care packages every year. But while they are familiar with traditional turron (almond, soft or hard, and chocolate nougats), they may not know two of the keys to twenty-first century turron: the fact that more and more nougat is consumed throughout the year, and that this sector is well on its way to meeting the demands of even the most sophisticated of consumers. These are the turrons of the new (and modern generation).
Text: Rodrigo García Fernández / ©ICEX
Traditionally, the arrival of the month of December means that, throughout Spanish homes, families begin tasting the first turrons of the year. This turron has typically been of the hard or soft variety, usually from Protected Geographic Indication Jijona and Turrón de Alicante, or chocolate – a favorite with children. These turrons have long held a place of pride in the Christmas packages we've been sending overseas to our friends for years. Nothing about this has changed. However, now, industry leaders have also figured out how to adapt their offering so that the most demanding international clients in search of innovative cuisine can enjoy this product year-round.
The following are just a few of the delectable proposals that have made it possible for turron to transcend its former role as purely a Christmas treat, morphing into the perfect option for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Vicens: Cabernet Sauvignon turrón, "chocolate con churros" turrón...
This has turned into one of the most widely-anticipated culinary unveilings of the year: what will the great chef Albert Adrià create for nougat company Turrones Vicens? This prolific collaboration has heaped on successes that are embodied by the line of Albert Adriá Natura products. This year we are once again dying to try his new creations: with Cabernet Sauvignon, "chocolate con churros", pumpkin seeds, tart tatín, and honey and lemon nougat. Don't miss them!
How about a slice of cheese turrón?
I can't help it: cheese-based desserts are my go-to favorites, and so now I simply must try the new cheese turrons made by small Basque company Bizkarra. This new Christmas treat is infused with the artisanal knowledge of two branches of the Bizkarra family, one a specialist in making artisanal sheep's cheeses and an the other an expert in pastry making. Delicious.
Turron from Pastelería Ascaso and Yann Duytsche
Pastelería Ascaso, the mythical establishment found in the cities of Huesca and Zaragoza in Aragón, as well as Madrid, has teamed up with celebrated Barcelona-based French pastry chef Yann Duytsche to launch three new turrons. Characterized by their innovation in terms of ingredients and textures, the first of these is a marzipan turron with matcha tea and yuzu, for a clear Asian twist.
The next is a chocolate and marzipan nougat, with an Arbequina extra virgin olive oil and Ivoire white chocolate ganache. This turron is accompanied by a natural strawberry paste, crunchy white pearls and an innovative chocolate with strawberry nuances.
The third of these creations is a layered turron. Its base is a crunchy sablée, then buckwheat seeds and blond chocolate, in addition to fresh apricots seasoned with a mixture of spices and a Biskelia chocolate ganache.
Pretty intense, wouldn't you say?
A nod to children: pudding turrón
One of the most veteran Spanish turrón makers, Lacasa, presents its new flavors each year for those customers that are looking for something beyond strict tradition. This year they have chosen to tantalize us with their pudding nougat, a nod to the natillas of our childhood. Their other new flavor is a Sacher cake turron.
Cider turrón, made in Asturias
The northern Spanish region of Asturias has an important and longstanding tradition of cider. The undisputed star of the show is the alcoholic beverage made from apples, but there is also a rich selection of regional desserts and recipes that call for cider. One of the most recent additions to this list is the cider turron that is made exclusively for the company Crivencar-Tierra Astur by master Asturian chocolatier and pastry chef Tino Helgura. It is made from marzipan and sweet apple paste, and perfumed with natural cider.
Translation: Adrienne Smith/©ICEX
We have discovered a few of the delectable proposals that have made it possible for turron to transcend its former role as purely a Christmas treat.