There are many recipes for nougat. At the Lolly Shop Wangi for Christmas we carry Belgian nougat in boxes of bite size pieces and French nougat in bars.
The origins of this confection date back to ancient times and can be traced to the other side of the Mediterranean, in the Orient, where women prepared it using almonds, honey and spices. It was also found in Greece, where it was made with walnuts and without spices, as well as in Marseilles, where it enjoyed widespread success until the 17th century.
This walnut-based cake was called nux gatum and nugo. Domestically prepared, the nugo – the black nougat also called “nougat de Provence” – along with white nougat, created afterwards, were among the thirteen traditional desserts prepared at Christmas. The town of Montélimar and nugo would see their destinies cross when, in the th century, Olivier de Serre planted the first almond trees imported from Asia on his property located a few kilometres from Montélimar.
The people of Provence, attracted by the success he experienced, would follow his example and go on to develop plantations throughout the region. It is highly probable that over the course of the years, the idea was thus planted to replace the walnuts in nugo with the providential almond.
It appears to have been in 1650 that the development of the recipe for white nougat was achieved with the addition of egg white to aerate and lighten the mixture. Nugo thus became nougat, without anyone today still knowing the name of its creator.
Our Belgian nougat pieces contain almonds and pistachios. Our French nougat is actually made in Griffith, NSW. It contains almonds, honey, egg whites, sugar and glucose.
Both these items are only available seasonally at Christmas.
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