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Honey and almonds, the two natural delicacies used to make the world’s most famous nougat

Due to its unique taste and texture, Alicante nougat is a typical Spanish confectionary. In any case, it’s important to highlight its essential role in the gastronomy of Benidorm and other nearby towns. In addition, the use of products from Alicante in its preparation guarantees the quality of this typical Christmas dessert, although we recommend you eat it all year round for its nutritional benefits.

Alicante nougat: confectionary made with almonds and honey

The ideal formula for the perfect Alicante nougat is based on using a variety of Mediterranean almonds and the percentage of honey. Other ingredients, such as egg whites and sugar, are added to this, all in the right proportions to achieve the highest quality product to find its way into your pantry.

These are the most commonly used varieties of almonds

The marcona almond is one of the most common almonds used to make Alicante nougat. It stands out for its sweetness, which helps flavour of the final product. It’s recognisable by its small round shape, which also gives it its typical appearance. It also has a moisture content that’s key for making the nougat pleasant on the palate. When there’s a shortage, it’s often replaced by the guara almond, with similar characteristics, although it doesn’t have the same nuances.

The ramillete almond, typical of Murcia and Alicante, is also often used in this recipe. It stands out for its quality and elongated, flat shape. The llargueta is also a typical almond from this area. But be aware that it isn’t too sweet, which may affect the final product.

Vall del Pop honey, a delicacy that can’t be missing from the recipe

La Vall del Pop is a unique place in the lands of Alicante, closely linked to municipalities such as Xaló, Llíber, Senija and Benissa. It’s a place of enormous contrasts which provides a variety of products, but the most special is undoubtedly honey.

Vall del Pop honey is a food with a personality of its own that stands out for its perfect thickness for the preparation of nougat and, above all, for its sweetness. Adding it to a nougat recipe is a guarantee of the quality of this traditional confectionary that you can enjoy all year round.

How to make nougat, step by step

The preparation of Alicante nougat follows the same traditional instructions as always. Only the wood fire has been replaced by the current gas fire, which helps optimise production.

First, a dough is made which mixes together honey, sugar and egg white. It’s heated to the correct temperature. At this point, a check is made to see whether the preparation has been successful. To do this, the artisan takes a lump of dough and stretches it to see whether it really crackles. As you can see, the process is traditional but effective.

The next step is carried out by the people in charge of cooking the honey, who are called meleros. They’re the ones who add the toasted and peeled almonds and mix everything together until a really homogeneous dough is obtained. All that remains is to divide it into portions and place the final wafer.

How to know you’ve bought quality nougat

When you go to buy nougat, do you find it hard to know whether you’re really buying a quality product? Keeping a few basic tips in mind will help you to check.

To begin with, you should know that the quantity of almonds contained in the nougat legally marks its quality category:

  • At 30% and above, it’s considered to be a popular quality nougat.
  • Standard quality means it will contain between 40% and 50% of this nut.
  • A quantity of more than 50% is considered to be extra quality.
  • Finally, more than 60% involves nougat of supreme quality.

Another sign that turrones from Alicante are of good quality is having a high percentage of honey instead of sugar or other sweeteners.

The production process is also a very important factor. If it’s carried out by specialised craftsmen, this guarantees that the nougat is cooked to perfection.

In short, Alicante nougat is a very attractive product on the palate thanks to its combination of honey, almonds and artisanal production. Would you like to try it?

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