Torrone (nougat) is a confection traditionally enjoyed at Christmas and during winter in Italy.
It was already known in ancient Rome, however its most famous version today is the torrone di Cremona.
According to legend, the first nougat in Cremona was served on October 25, 1441, at the wedding between Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti. It was was modeled on the shape of the Torrazzo, the bell tower of the city, from which it is thought to take the name. This event is commemorated every year in Cremona with La Festa del Torrone. However, the first documented evidence of nougat in Cremona dates to 1543, when the city bought some to give as a gift to the Milanese authorities.
How torrone is made
Torrone is made with egg whites, honey, sugar and filled with toasted almonds, hazelnuts or other types of nuts. To prepare torrone, egg whites and honey are poured into a large pot and mixed quickly until they have formed a dense, white mixture, as part of a process called “sbianchimento” (whitening). Next, the mixture is heated and mixed slowly – this can take between 8 and 11 hours. A small amount of sugar is added, before adding the toasted almonds or hazelnuts, which should be at the same temperature as the mixture. Then, flavors such as vanilla or citrus may be added. The mixture is stretched by hand and placed in wooden molds lined with an edible wrapper that will enclose the torrone. After cooling, the torrone is cut into the desired shape.
Torrone di Cremona boasts the IGP quality recognition and has two versions, the classic one, or the soft (tenero) one, based on the amount of egg white used.
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