Origin of the Torrone

The torrone (= nougat) is the traditional final course during a Christmas dinner, whether hard or tender, whether covered in chocolate or sugar. The rituals of cutting the "torrone" together with the family, as the final, perfect moment for chatting and smiling after the big meal of Christmas day, give this preparation its festive, joyous character of reunion.

As a matter of fact, the torrone basic ingredients, almonds and honey, are common products in the whole Mediterranean area, and since the remotest times were used in confectionery preparations. The Romans already, as told by historian Titus Livius, liked to eat the "cupedia", a recipe based on honey and almonds.

There is a legend of a shepherd from the area of Benevento who was divinely inspired to mix at low temperature milk, honey and almonds so as to obtain a compound that would solidify when cold. But the Arabs also had a similar preparation called "qubbayt" and in Licata, sicily, the "cicirata" used to be made with toasted ceci beans which would then be cooked in honey.

A great many small and large towns have their own special (they say "best") torrone variety.