The festive season is the one time where you have to sort of spoil yourself and your family. Besides giving and getting gifts, food is the next best thing about the holidays.
There are things that you just don’t eat on all the time. Christmas is a time where your holiday menu needs to feature some unique delicacies. Spanish turrones are one of those things you can add to your it. This can be a way to keep the holidays fresh and exciting for you and your entire family.
Spanish food is one of the most famous cuisines worldwide. Spain is know for its chorizo, Jamón Ibérico and churros. But during Christmas in Spain, a special nougat candy is prepared known as Turrón. So instead of having regular candy as part of your Christmas menu, you can try out this special Spanish candy.
Moreover, there are several types of Spanish turron to choose from. Thus it is up to you to pick what you prefer.
What Are Spanish Turrones?
Spanish turrones are a traditional Christmas sweet made mainly form honey, almonds, and sugar. The sweet is very popular in Spain. Today, however, other ingredients like chocolate are being used to create different variants of Spanish turrones.
Quality of Spanish Turrones
The Denominacion de Origen regulates the quality of Spanish turrones. The body only issues certification to companies that use traditional ingredients and production methods.
It is recommended that the number of almonds in soft turron be 60% and 64% in hard turron. There are different labels used to determine the quality of Turron available commercially in grocery stores. The label ‘Suprema’ is used to indicate the best quality then there is ‘Extra’ which means standard and ‘Popular.’
When buying turrones, make sure to be on the lookout for the label. Most companies will tend to only produce turron with the labels ‘Suprema’ and ‘Extra’ though.
4 Types of Spanish Turron Flavors
The traditional Spanish candy only had two variances – the Turron de Alicante, also known as turron duro or hard turron, and Turron de Jijona also known as turron blado or soft turron. However, in recent times, other types have come up due to new recipes and other factors.
1. Turrones de Alicante
Turrones de Alicante, or Turron Duro is prepared by first roasting the almonds in an oven. Afterward, you cook up honey and sugar over low heat in a pan for 10 minutes and then increase to medium heat while stirring continuously until the mixture boils.
Add the honey mixture to egg whites in a mixer while still stirring continuously. Finally, add the almonds to the mixer and pour it in a bread pan and leave it to cool.
Once cooled, you can cut into pieces. The sizes will depend on your preference. Though, turron is traditionally made into a rectangular shape. The pieces can also be packaged and sold after.
2. Turrones de Jijona
Turrones de Jijona is basically the opposite version of Turron Duro. Turron Duro is the hard turron while Jijona is the soft turron or turron blando.
To prepare Jijona, you simply take turron Duro blocks after it has cooled and use almond oil to ground them up, forming a sticky paste. The paste is then reheated while constantly stirring until the mix is soft.
Afterward, egg white is added to the mixture to help it bind up. The mixture is then poured into square metal containers and left to cool before being cut into slices. The size of the slices will be a matter of preference.
3. Chocolate Turron
This, along with yema tostada, is the most common alternative to the “big two” turrones. This can be made using chocolate, puffed rice cereal, and almonds.
First, you have to melt the chocolate. After the chocolate has completely melted, add vegetable shortening and stir up the mixture. You then add the puffed rice and almonds and stir continuously.
Spread the mixture in a container and wrap it with plastic then refrigerate it for at least 6 hours. Finally, cut into slices to the size you prefer.
4. Yema Tostada Turron
Turron de Yema Tostada is also known as the Toasted Egg Yolk Turron. This contains almonds, icing sugar, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla essence.
First, find a bowl and mix up ground almonds and icing sugar in it then add vanilla essence to the mix. Add the egg yolks to the mixture while stirring constantly. Pour the mixture in a container like a bread pan and wrap it with cling film.
Leave the mixture for 3-4 days and then sprinkle sugar on top of it and melt it using a blow torch. Finally, cut it into slices.
Other Types of Spanish Turrones
Here are some other types of Spanish Turrones you should know about.
1. Torta de Turron
This has become popular in Spain in recent times. Torta de Turron is basically Turrones de Alicante but in circular shape instead of the common and traditional rectangular bars.
Sometimes this type of turron is referred to as Torta Imperial.
2. Turron de Guirlache
This type of turron is popular in the Valencia region of Spain.
Turron de Guirlache is just the standard Turron Duro, but instead of using honey, you use caramel. Caramel gives it a unique flavor.
Sometimes dried fruits such as raisins are added.
3. Sugar-Free Turron – Turron sin Azucar
This is a newer type of turron that is meant to be healthier. The sugar content in regular turrones usually is very high. Thus, sugar is replaced by different sweeteners in the ingredients. Sugar-free Turron can thus be eaten by people suffering from diabetes or those trying to lose weight.
You can shop for various brands of sugarless turrones online. Sugarless versions of turron de alicante and turron de jijona are easiest to find.
Try Some Spanish Turrones!
Christmas is always just around the corner, and some people have probably started planning for it.
Adding Spanish turrones to your Christmas menu is an excellent way to tune up the holiday. It is good to add new things here and there to make the holidays less monotonous.
In addition, this is a chance to explore a part of Spanish culture. If you end up loving Spanish turrones it does not mean you limit yourself to only having it on Christmas, you can add it to your Easter menu or any other holiday. Due to the high sugar content in turrones, try to control how much of it you eat at a go.
If you yearn for more turron info check out our Spanish Turron – Your Ultimate Guide. It is everything you’ll ever need to know about turron and more!
Where to Buy Turron?
Now that you are turron experts, it’s time to buy some, but where?
In Spain you’ll find turron virtuall everywhere; at every restaurant, supermarket and corner store.
But in the United States it’s a little more difficult to find. Specialty supermarkets should carry turron during the holiday season. If not you can always order turron online.
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