Turrón or not to run. Guide to a Spanish treat.

As the days are getting shorter and colder our primitive bodies start regarding pastries and sweets with a rekindled interest.
Supermarket aisles which we totally avoided a month ago are now beckoning us with their calorie-rich goodness and whispering in our hairy ear of an approaching famine.

Not one to resist nature’s call, I bring you my personal view on one of the fattiest and tastiest treats you should sample: Spain’s turrón candy.

Traditionally made from a combination of almonds sugar and honey it has developed into two distinct varieties: the hard Alicante sort and the soft Jijona sort.
Regarded usually as nougat, I find that it runs the gamut from marzipan to halva in terms of texture and feel,  a great gamut indeed.
Nowadays there are several varieties including non-almond ones and many of these can be found in your local Spanish goods store and at least in Berlin for a very fair price of between 2 to 4 euros for a 200/300 gram packet.

The fact that they are sold in blocks and contain enough calories and fat to make you fear bridges may be a detriment to some but a challenge to someone like me, so I thought i’d go and sample all the turrons I could find and run it off later.
Not all the turrons actually, I avoided the chocolate ones since that just seems unappealing  to me, I like chocolate as chocolate and not in mushy/crunchy/sticky combinations.

Here is the list of turrons ranked by tastiness from yummy to yummiest.

Turron Imperial with sweetener and no sugar
Ingredients: 60% almonds, sweeteners, egg whites and wafer.
This is the hard Alicante type, while the taste is nice enough, I always fear for my teeth when biting into this hard white block, which diminishes my enjoyment considerably.

Figuritas marzipan.
Ingredients: sugar, 455 almonds.
OK so this is not really turron, but it’s marzipan so I couldn’t resist trying it.
This doesn’t quite measure up with the best German stuff out there like Schwermer and Niederegger as it’s a bit coarse and unrefined, but it’s tasty, flamed and costs less than half, making it a very good bargain for marzipan lovers.

Turron de Crema Catalana.
Ingredients: sugar, 30% almonds, 17% whole milk powder and 7% egg yolk.
When I say that something is almost ‘too sweet’ you can bet your life that it’s damn sweet.
Very nice texture but sweetness went OTT in this case.

Turron Coco, coconut turron.
Ingredients: sugar, 45% coconut.
Bounty bar on crack.
If you are a fan of coconut this will be extremely hard to put down, gorgeous stuff.

Turron crema de almendras, almond cream with sweetener
Ingredients: 64% almonds, sweeteners and egg white.
The classic Jijona turron without sugar.
Very sweet and mushy, oily and halva-like texture will make your hands  sticky and your mouth sing.

Turron de Jijona.
Ingredients: 64% almonds, sugar, 12% honey and egg whites.
As classic as it gets.
Sugar and honey beat sweetener in my book and the taste reaches stratospheric levels.

Turron de yema tostada, toasted egg whites.
Ingredients: sugar, 38% almonds and 10% egg whites.
This looks like creme brulee and tastes even better.
Amazing texture and flavor that will knock you out.
Might be number one after another sampling.
Turron nata nueces, cream with walnuts.
Ingredients: Sugar, almonds, walnuts and milk powder (depends on manufacturer).
Get the Pico version as it it’s definitely better than the Romero one.
I’m a sucker for marzipan and for nuts so this fantastic combination of creamy smooth marzipan with walnuts was a revelation and really blew me away.
Tastier than the best of regular marzipan and at half the price, this is a perfect crime.

That’s it for now.
Gotta run.

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