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What You Need to Know About French Nougat

What You Need to Know About French Nougat

White nougat with almonds


The holidays are coming and will be here in the blink of an eye. When Christmas is finally here, do you want your Christmas present to be the most talked about? Then keep reading, because nougat is the sweet holiday candy that will make that happen. Not only is this holiday candy mouthwateringly delicious but it is also very unique. This means you have an even greater chance of having your Christmas sweet be the most talked about. 


What is Nougat Candy? 

Nougat on a Christmas table


 Nougat candy is a cherished Christmas treat, and if you have never had it before, then your holidays are about to be changed for the sweeter. Nougat is a fluffy and creamy candy that is made from sugar (or honey) and egg whites. You may have had a version of nougat in a candy bar at least once in your life, but traditional nougat is something to be celebrated without the layers of chocolate.  

 At first bite, nougat has a cloud-like texture to it and finishes off with a chewy consistency. This complex and delightful Christmas sweet is truly something unique and special. This is why so many countries have their spin on this holiday candy.  

  French Nougat Origin 

France is known for its confectionary masterpieces, so it is no surprise that French nougat is among them. French nougat can be dated back to the 16th century in Provence, France. It is said, through generations of local lore, that the word “nougat” comes from the phrase “tu nous gates” which translated to “you spoil us”. Which, with one bite of French nougat you will indeed feel spoiled.  

  French confectioners know how to elevate and enhance any culinary experience you have. So, of course, there is not only one kind of French nougat but two. The two main type of French nougat are: Nougat de Montélimar (a soft white nougat) and Nougatine (a hard, dark nougat). No matter what your candy preference may be -- French nougat can fulfill all of them. 


White christmas nougat with red and green fruits

Different Types of French Nougat 

The two types of French nougat are Nougat de Montélimar, which is soft white nougat, and Nougatine which is a hard black nougat. While they may taste and look different, they both remain a nougat. (Keep reading so you can better understand the differences before you buy a box of nougat for your holiday candies.)  

 Soft Nougat

Soft Nougat de Montélimar is soft, fluffy, and cloud-like. To make soft nougat you must have a delicate balance of egg whites, sugar, and then your choice of nut. Soft nougat usually only has one choice of nut mixed in at a time and you can even add candied fruits in as well. (If you want a more traditional nougat then choose one with nuts.)  

At myPanier we sell a variety of different nougats but our favorite Nougat de Montélimar is our individually wrapped Trois Abeilles. This nougat will not disappoint at your next holiday party.  

Hard Nougat

Nougatine is a clear, dark, and nut-based nougat that has the shape of bark. The process of cooking this nougat is to cook sugar long enough on high heat until it is converted into caramel. After the caramel has been made, it is allowed to dry and is mixed with nuts. Like Nougat de Montélimar, there is a wide variety of nougat that has different styles of nuts in it. So, make sure and try a nougat that has your preferred type of nut mixed in.  

Another difference between hard and soft nougat is that hard nougat will never have candied fruit in it. The thin bark of hard nougat would never be able to hold the candied fruit the same way as the fluffy soft nougat. So, instead of candied fruit, you can often find different kinds of seeds alongside the nuts that are found in hard nougat.  

If hard nougats are overwhelming and you don't know which to choose, here is our favorite hard nougat at myPanier. Hard Suprem’Nougat from Provence is a black nougat made with almonds and this individually wrapped black nougat is the perfect food gift for your friends and family to try.  

hard nougat with almonds

The Difference Between French Nougat and Torrone 

While France has its version of nougat, so do other countries. Italy's version of nougat is called the torrone. Torrone is a form of white nougat that is very similar to soft nougat in many ways yet there are some differences.  

One difference between French nougat and torrone is that torrone is finished off with white icing on top after it has been made. Torrone also has many more flavors to choose from as it is not uncommon for torrone to be made with chocolate, cinnamon, or even orange mixed into its silky and nutty texture. Lastly, French nougat can be made with either sugar or honey and turron is made only from sugar. While both as similar, these small distinctions make them each particularly unique.   

 Try our myPanier chunky torrone with hazelnuts for your next holiday sweet! This comes in one large block that you can either cut into pieces for everyone to try or keep whole all for yourself.  

  While nougat is usually a Christmas sweet staple, these delicious candies can be treasured all year round. So, whether you are trying the lovely, fluffy soft nougat or the crunchy, rich black nougat you cannot go wrong buying some for your next holiday gift. Today is your chance to embrace centuries of holiday tradition with a box of French Nougat.  

Before you leave check out myPanier's Collection of Nougat and Calissons, you will for sure find your next favorite treat! 

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