Nougat (US: // NOO-gət, UK: // NOO-gah; French: [nuɡa]; Azerbaijani: nuqa; Persian: نوقا) is a family of confections made with sugar or honey, roasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are common), whipped egg whites, and sometimes chopped candied fruit. The consistency of nougat is chewy, and it is used in a variety of candy bars and chocolates. The word nougat comes from Occitan pan nogat (pronounced [ˈpaⁿ nuˈɣat]), seemingly from Latin panis nucatus 'nut bread' (the late colloquial Latin adjective nucatum means 'nutted' or 'nutty').
|Main ingredients||White nougat: sugar or honey, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts), egg whites, sometimes candied fruit|
Brown nougat: sugar or honey, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts)
Viennese or German nougat: sugar, nuts, chocolate
|Variations||Gaz (candy), torrone and turrón|
(per 100 serving)
|398 kcal (1666 kJ)|
There are two basic kinds of nougat. The first, and most common, is white nougat or Persian nougat (gaz in Iran, turrón in Spain), made with beaten egg whites and honey; it appeared in the early 15th century, in Alicante, Spain with the first published recipe in the 16th century, and in Montélimar, France, in the 18th century (Nougat of Montélimar). The second is brown nougat (nougat noir in French, literally 'black nougat'; in Italian croccante, meaning 'crunchy'), which is made without egg whites and has a firmer, often crunchy texture.
Many legends exist around nougat’s origins. Early recipes of white nougat, probably borrowed from Central Asia or Persia (Iran), were found in a Middle Eastern book in Baghdad the 10th century. That nougat was called ناطف nāṭif. One of these recipes indicates that the nāṭif comes from Harran, a city located between Urfa (now in southeast Turkey) and Aleppo, Syria. Mention of nāṭif was found in a triangle between Urfa, Aleppo, and Baghdad. At the end of the 10th century, the traveler and geographer Ibn Hawqal wrote that he ate some nāṭif in Manbij (in modern Syria) and Bukhara (in modern Uzbekistan).
Distribution and popularity
Turrón is produced in Spain, Nougat in southern France, torrone, mandorlato or even cupeta and cubbaita – from Latin cupedia in Cremona, Taurianova and Sicily in Italy, in Greece where it is known as mandolato or mandola, Malta (where it is known as qubbajd and sold in village festivals), Romania (where it is known as alviță sold in local festivals and fairgrounds, mainly on the Sunday of Forgiveness preceding the Easter Lent), and in local variant form in Tabriz, Iran where it is known as Luka.
The nougat that appears in many candy bars in the United States and United Kingdom differs from traditional recipes, consisting of sucrose and corn syrup aerated with a whipping agent such as egg white, hydrolyzed soya protein or gelatine and may include vegetable fats and milk powder. Typically it is combined with nuts, caramel, or chocolate. Some American confections feature this type of nougat as the primary component, rather than combined with other elements. Varieties of nougat are found in Milky Way, Reese's Fast Break, Snickers, Double Decker, ZERO bars, and Baby Ruth bars. "Fluffy nougat" is the featured ingredient in the 3 Musketeers bar.
In Britain, nougat is traditionally made in the style of the southern European varieties, and is commonly found at fairgrounds and seaside resorts. The most common industrially produced type is coloured pink and white, the pink often fruit flavoured, and sometimes wrapped in edible rice paper with almonds and cherries.
When nougat spread to Taiwan, preparers there began to add milk powder as the main raw material, plus sugar, cream, protein (some companies will use whey protein refined from fresh milk instead of protein and protein powder), nuts (such as peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios or hazelnuts), dried fruit and petals (such as cranberry, golden pomelo, mango, orange, longan, osmanthus, etc.) as a secondary raw material, becoming unique features of Taiwanese nougat.
Compared to table-top nougat, French European nougat does not have any milk or milk powder ingredients. It is purely made by adding sugar or honey to egg whites and sprinkling almonds or nuts. In addition, some manufacturers use edible rice paper to prevent the nougat from being deformed, but how much will affect the taste, so the choices vary from person to person.
Spanish nougat known as turrón follows the traditional recipes with toasted nuts (commonly almonds), sugar, honey, and egg whites.
Torrone from Italy includes these same basic ingredients as well as vanilla or citrus flavoring, and is often sandwiched between two very thin sheets of rice paper. The Venetian town of Cologna Veneta is well known for its nougat production, especially the type called mandorlato, always based on honey, sugar, egg whites, and almonds (mandorle in Italian) but with a different taste and harder to bite than torrone.
"Wiener (Viennese) Nougat" is a variant which contains only sugar, cocoa butter, nuts, and cocoa mass, and has a mellow consistency. The nuts used for Viennese nougat are usually hazelnuts. In Germany and the Nordic countries, Viennese nougat is what has traditionally been associated with and labelled as nougat, while in Sweden and Denmark the original nougat is referred to as "French nougat". In Germany, gianduja is traditionally called nougat.
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