Satisfy the sweet tooth on National Nougat Day and declare it a day for not counting calories. Heck, why not go ahead and satisfy a whole mouth of sweet teeth and smile all the way through bites of this delicious mixture?! It is soft, chewy, a little sticky, and filled with utter honey-nut deliciousness.
Nougat comes from an Old Provencal French word, “nogat” which simply means “nut cake”. The word in Spanish is either “turrón” or “torró”, similar to the word in Italian, “torrone”. In Iran (Persian) this candy is called “Gaz”, although there it is made from a sweet plant sap instead of honey, making it a vegan snack.
This delicious treat comes in all shapes, styles and flavors, as many cultures around the world make this simple candy in some form or another. Spanish nougat has hard and soft varieties, one with whole almonds and one with ground almonds. Italian nougat often is flavored with vanilla or citrus. German nougat usually does not use egg whites as most of the others do, while nougat in Africa may not contain nuts at all but may use fruit instead.
For fans of nuts (and other flavors) served in a deliciously sweet way, National Nougat Day is the perfect day for a celebration!
History of National Nougat Day
Nougat is a mixture of sugar, nuts, egg whites and honey–and sometimes it also includes dried fruit. Made popular by a great many varieties of candy bars, nougat actually dates back to more than 1000 years ago, when references and recipes for nougat have been found in some Middle Eastern manuscripts. Other historians have traced this treat back to Roman times in the first century, so no one is quite sure exactly where it comes from.
Nougat eventually made its way from what is now Turkey and Syria through to Greece, Italy and eventually the whole of Europe. The idea for nougat also made its way to Asia, where milk powder was added as a base. Traditional French nougat doesn’t have any milk powder, instead only using egg whites as a base for the honey and nuts.
A bit of a luxury, historically nougat was reserved for serving at special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, weddings or other celebrations. In the modern day, it has become a favorite of British holidaymakers at seaside resorts and fairgrounds, and this version is often colored pink and white.
Today, quite a few different candy bars, especially American ones, tend to boast that they are filled with nougat. However, these are often manufactured with a whole lot of corn syrup and don’t really resemble traditional nougat very much at all.
How to Celebrate National Nougat Day
A mixture of honey, sugar, nuts and more, nougat has never been more deserving of its own day! And Celebrating National Nougat Day means indulging in yummy, nougaty creations. Consider these ways to celebrate the day, or come up with some other creative ideas to add to the list:
Learn How to Make Nougat at Home
Candy-making isn’t always easy as it has a number of factors that can influence the results, but it sure is worth it! Whether making it to eat at home or to give as a gift to a loved one, following is a rundown of what you’ll need to do to make nougat in celebration of National Nougat Day. (A quick online search should provide plenty of recipe ideas with exact measurements for ingredients.)
Preparation time for making nougat is pretty quick, but it might be necessary to make a trip to the store as many of these items may not be as likely to be found in the average home kitchen.
- Nuts, including almonds (whole and blanched) pistachios (peeled) and hazelnuts (also peeled)
- Dried Fruits (not necessary but some people like it this way)
- Sheets of rice paper (edible)
- Icing Sugar
- Clear honey
- White sugar
- Liquid glucose
- Egg whites
- Vanilla extract
First, it will take a few minutes to toast the nuts altogether in an oven set to about 350F for approximately 10 minutes. While this is happening, the egg whites will need to be whipped on low speed. Then the honey must be boiled in a saucepan, poured immediately over the egg whites, then whipped together. In another saucepan, the sugar, glucose and water need to be made into a simple syrup on the stove. The syrup should then be poured into the honey/egg white mixture and beaten into a meringue (this may take about 10 minutes).
The nuts (and dried fruit if using) should then be stirred in with vanilla and a bit of salt. The mixture can be poured into a tin lined with rice paper and powdered sugar. More rice paper should be added to the top and the mixture allowed to cool for at least two hours, or even overnight. Cut into squares with a hot, serrated knife. And enjoy!
Nougat has a long shelf life of up to a month, as long as it is stored in an airtight container.
Visit a Local Candy Shop
While it’s a bit of a unique item, many candy shops make nougat and this is the perfect time to enjoy a piece! Grab a friend or family member and head over to a local candy shop–some of them might even offer special discounts or coupons in honor of National Nougat Day!
Some candy shops that specialize in nougat not only make the standard flavors, but they get a little adventurous with the different combinations in their nougat. See if a candy shop nearby sells these, or try making them at home:
- Cranberry and Pistachio Nougat
- Mango Macadamia Nougat
- Chocolate Chilli Nougat
- Roasted Coffee and Almond Nougat
- Chocolate and Hazelnut Swirl Nougat
- White Chocolate and Apricot Nougat
- Chocolate Peanut and Caramel Nougat
- Chai Latte and Almond Nougat
- Apple Pecan and Cinnamon Nougat
- Wild Fig and Almond Nougat
Enjoy Some Nougat Candy Bars
Celebrate the day of nougat by opening up those all-time favorite candy bars that are filled with this tasty confectionary delight.
- The 3 Musketeers are share-worthy choices, so go ahead and put them on a platter to hand out to hungry neighbors.
- Probably it would be good to join in on the sugar high with some Baby Ruth bars, as well, just as any good neighbor would do.
- Snickers, probably one of the most well-known nougat candy bars in the world, contains peanuts and nougat that are then covered in chocolate. Eat some alone or feel free to share!
- Any Charleston Chew fan will, of course, sing the praises of this day – well, after swallowing the nougat first!
Sweet days are here, sweet days are here. Oh, come on, who would even notice just one day breaking that diet?? Downing one or two of the nougat-filled chocolate bars has sweetness written all over it.
And that sweetness comes in the form of National Nougat Day!