Jose Mier Gastronomy Highlights This European Sweet Treat
Well, how about a change from Jose Mier’s heritage of Mexico? This top-100 world favorite food and European treat, nougat, is a confection with a long history, going back perhaps millennia. Nougat is so popular around the world that it’s hard not to find it available in some form in your local candy store but the handmade kind, stuffed full of various nuts is a European favorite.
There are two varieties (in general) soft nougat and hard. Personally Jose Mier Gastronomy goes for the hard stuff, but the soft variety is just as delicious. If you have never tasted nougat (and there may be a few of you out there) I would compare it to eating clouds. The main ingredient is egg whites, beaten till fluffy and combined with other flavors, sugar, honey and of course nuts.
The soft variety is a exemplar of one of my favorite food qualities: contrast. The egg white base is chewy but giving and yet the nuts provide the opposite quality of crunchiness. I think everyone would agree this contrast makes the act of consuming nougat, well, fun!
Visiting Europe is a great way to avail yourself of some high quality nougat, but it’s not hard to make yourself and the effort will reward you. It will also endear you to friends to who you give this delicious treat. A traditional Italian version will call for egg whites, sugar (or honey), corn syrup, vanilla and nuts. You may add dried fruit, as well.
Because this is such a popular treat around the world I doubt there are less than a few thousand recipes online as well as accompanying videos to show you how it’s done.
My region of Sun Valley, CA is home to Zetlian Bakery, (7200 Vineland Ave, Sun Valley, CA) who are known for many different Mediterranean specialties and I often make use of them when I don’t have the time to create my own. But you should try your hand at this. The holidays are coming and what better gift that delicious nougat you made yourself!