Terrific Torrone

torroneItalian torrone is a sweet of ancient origin I fondly remember from childhood as being appealingly exotic (and darned sweet).  It is a nougat made with egg whites, honey, sugar, and nuts, and the kind we used to get at Christmas was wrapped in edible rice paper wafers.  Each piece was in a pretty little box.  I wish I knew if my Italian maternal grandmother ate it in her youth in Lombardia in northern Italy, or my grandfather down south in Abruzzo.

Some torrone is soft, some hard.  Some is full of hazelnuts, some of almonds.  There’s a recipe at Kyle Phillips extensive Italian food website at about.com, but really, this is something you purchase. 

In recent years I found long bars of it (sometimes chocolate covered) at Marshalls or TJ Maxx.  When I was in Florence a couple years ago I was surprised to see big round “cakes” of it cut up and sold in wedges at the candy stores, in many different flavors.  I spied some covered in pastel hued fondant for Easter at DePalo’s Fine Foods in New York last spring, and tried some of that.

And just last weekend I hit the “motherload” locally, finding big wedges in several flavors made by Revoltini at Dolce & Clemente’s Italian Gourmet Market, which recently opened in the Washington Town Center (conveniently near Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies). 

Pictured here are slices of limoncello and tiramasu flavors.  Dolce & Clemente’s is definitely worth a visit; they sell fresh and cured meats, deli items, cheese, Italian groceries, baked goods (those looked very interesting), and breads, and the prepared foods case is extensive.  Their sandwich menu is as long as your arm.  The place was packed at 4:00pm on a Sunday as people bought prepared foods for dinner and the workweek.  I can’t wait to go back when I have more time to browse.

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5 thoughts on “Terrific Torrone

  1. I am shameless. I bought some hazelnut and almond torrone at D & G, and within two days it had disappeared – eaten by me alone – and longed for days afterward. Their store reminded me of bountiful, customer-crowded shops in Little Italy in New York.
    Joan G

  2. Faith – Thanks so much for this great resource on torrone. I pass by the soft stuff, but can’t resist the hard-as-a-rock torrone. I have fond memories of being in Rome’s Piazza Navona around Christmas time, where little stalls are set up with all kinds of Christmas treats, including chocolate-covered hard torrone.

  3. Authentic Turron from Spain is a holiday treat Spaniards enjoy it on Christmas Eve. It’s sweeter and softer than Italian turrone. If you’re lucky, you may find turron in the Goya section of Pathmark (only on the holidays) but that is rare. Sometimes on my annual trek to Ironbound, Newark, I buy Spanish turron at a local grocery shop. There is also a top notch Authentic Spanish store online called La Tienda that carries the soft honey and almond bar. http://www.tienda.com/

  4. Yes, I do remember buying the Spanish turron, too, thank you for the information about La Tienda, they are indeed very good. And your own website looks interesting!

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