Turrón de Alicante PGI
Turrón, a hard confectionery obtained from cooking sugar and honey and adding roasted almonds and egg white.
Sweet with a retronasal hint of roasted almonds, a touch of herbs such as rosemary and thyme coming from the honey and a slight warm, smoky taste of good wood from the roasting of the almonds. On the nose, the partially rounded aroma hints at caramel and flowers such as orange blossom. The caramelized structure initially gives a breakable texture, intensified by the crunchiness of the almonds which are of irregular size and shape and lie in all directions within the mixture. During chewing, the mixture of pieces of almond and sugars leads to an interaction reminiscent of eating pomegranate seeds. As the mixture dissolves, it becomes sticky and elastic in the mouth, while the wafer dissolves on contact with saliva.
A snow-white color, with a golden shine when held up to the light. Turrón has the following physical and chemical characteristics:
- Moisture as a percentage of finished product: 4.5 maximum
- Protein as a percentage of finished product: 12.0 minimum
- Fats as a percentage of finished product: 34.0 minimum
- Ash as a percentage of finished product: 2.5 maximum
Production / Processing method
The almonds must come from Regions of Mediterranean climate around the world. In Spain, we can find them in the Valencian Community and its surroundings (north of the Region of Murcia, the Balearic Islands, province of Albacete, etc.), Aragon, Catalonia and Andalusia. They must be clean and healthy and belong to the Comuna (Valencia), Mallorca, Marcona, Mollar and Planeta varieties.
The honey must be pure bees’ rosemary, orange blossom or thousand-flower honey with a minimum of 10% coming from the same areas as the almonds. Rosemary honey is used for its flavor and whiteness on cooking, and orange-blossom honey for the freshness and aroma it gives the end product. Physical, chemical and organoleptic analyses are carried out to ensure the best honey is selected and purchased for making turrón. Normally, granulated sugar is used, preferably as white as possible. Fresh eggs are used to provide semi-liquid yolks and dried whites.
The production process begins with the roasting of the peeled almonds in rotating cylinders over intense heat. A mixture containing the necessary proportions of sugar and honey is cooked in a turning beater holding up to 50 or 60 kg / 110-132 lb, then diluted egg white is added to whiten it. As the moisture evaporates, the right consistency is gradually achieved. Egg white is used to achieve the right smooth texture, white color and consistency in the end product. This mixture of sugar and honey is called molasses and the amount of cooking needed to reach the soft ball point is one of the best-kept secrets of the turrón producers. After checking the temperature, the beating time and the degree of cooking, the chef takes a sample of the mixture and stretches it to form a thread which he then rolls up and tastes to check that the caramelization is just right. This is when the almonds are added, being mixed in with paddles in synchronized movements, turning over the mixture until they are evenly distributed.
The hot turrón is then weighed and molded in boxes coated with paper-thin wafers and holding about six kgs / 13 lb, a format similar to that adopted for retail sales. Once cool, the slabs are cut into smaller blocks, then packed in bags and cartons.
The commercial presentations are rectangular portions weighing from 15 to 90 g / 0,5 -3 oz, rectangular bars from 100 to 700 g / 3,5 - 25 oz or disc shapes weighing from 35 to 400 g / 1,2 – 14 oz.
Geography / Relief and climate
Jijona is located within the central curve of the province of Alicante, in an area of great geological complexity lying under the influence of the sub-Betic mountains. The rivers form a number of basins, and Jijona is in one of them. The relief is mountainous, except in the south-east. The mountains lie from west to east establishing the district’s natural borders. The main ones are Penya Migjorn, and the Carrasqueta and Montagut ranges. The town lies protected by these mountains at an altitude of 453 m /1486.2 ft above sea level.
The climate is Mediterranean with warm winters and hot summers, and average annual temperatures of 18 to 20ºC / 64-68º F. The dry climate, with low humidity, is an essential element in turrón production. Maximum rainfall is in autumn, and summer rains are scarce.
Consejo Regulador de las II.GG.PP. Jijona y Turrón de Alicante
C/ Foia de Martin, s/n - Plgo. Industrial El Espartal III
03100 Jijona (Alicante)
Tel: (+34) 965 612 446
- Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
- Regulatory Council, Jijona y Turrón de Alicante PGI
During chewing, the mixture of pieces of almond and sugars leads to an interaction reminiscent of eating pomegranate seeds.