Quality of nougat

Buying quality nougat is becoming increasingly difficult: What is the best artisan nougat on the market? How can you tell the difference between a good nougat and a bad one? Why the price difference?

If you are reading this, it is because you may be interested in buying a good nougat and not being taken for a ride. In this post we want to give you some tips to know and identify the quality of a nougat and not to make a mistake when buying it on-line. This year enjoy and buy quality nougat.

How to know and identify a good quality nougat.

In order to explain correctly the different qualities of nougat we have to go back to the official state bulletin of May 1982, to the Royal Decree 1787/1982 where the official regulations for the elaboration and commercialization of nougat and marzipan are included. In this document, Nougat is defined as “The dough obtained by cooking honey and sugar with or without egg whites, with the addition and kneading of toasted almonds, peeled or with skin. Honey may be substituted totally or partially by sugars in their different kinds and derivatives”. This Royal Decree also includes other types and varieties of nougat where almonds are replaced by other nuts or where food starches are added in proportion.

This definition leaves the door open to many different types of nougat and it is important to emphasize the part that says “Honey may be substituted totally or partially by sugars”. At this point, many manufacturers add more sugar than honey to their recipes, lowering the quality of the product considerably. A good quality nougat should have a lot of almonds and more honey than sugar.

That is why in Jijona we have a special regulation that is specified in the order of March 22, 1996 and that regulates the minimum percentages of the raw materials of turron, thus ensuring a unique and quality product. This regulation led to the creation of guarantee labels. A unique numbered seal that only nougat made in Jijona and under strict quality controls can carry. Together with the Protected Geographical Indication seal, they are the best indication of a quality nougat.

How to recognize the quality of nougat: The clear differences.

There are many ways to know if a nougat is of good quality or not. In this article we will try to give you tips and tricks to quickly get to know the product you are going to buy.

First of all, in the B.O.E. there are different categories to organize the quality of nougat. This shape is determined by the percentage of kernel in the total weight. Here we show you the most common qualities, ranging from popular quality, the lowest, to supreme quality, OUR QUALITY.

  • Popular quality. From 30% almonds.
  • Standard quality. between 40% and 50% almonds
  • Extra quality. more than 50%.
  • Supreme Quality Nougat. more than 60% almonds: The one we sell

Therefore, the most direct way to know if a nougat is of good quality is by looking at its ingredients and the minimum percentage they make up in the product. If the nougat has little almond and little honey it is telling us that its quality is low. Obviously it goes without saying that any thickener, binder in Jijona and Alicante nougat are indications of lower quality.

The nougats certified under the Jijona brand are required to have a minimum percentage of almonds of 64% and a percentage of honey that must always exceed 10% of the final product. We always try to go further and recommend looking at the percentage of sugar vs. percentage of honey because many manufacturers use more sugar than honey (it’s cheaper). As it is not mandatory to write these percentages between the ingredients, a trick is to look at the order in which they appear. The earlier an ingredient appears, the more presence it has in the product.

Quality nougat always has to have a higher percentage of almonds and pure honey than sugar or other ingredients. And when we say higher percentage, we mean that at least 70% of a quality nougat must be Almond and honey.

Obviously, when buying good quality nougat, you should make sure that it does not contain soybean oil or palm oil. None of our products are made with these ingredients, ever!

Not all soft nougat is Jijona and not all hard nougat is Alicante. Learn how to identify them.

To have absolute confidence in buy quality nougat We recommend that it always bears the seal of denomination of origin and geographical identification, since it assures us that the nougat is made in Jijona, that it is manufactured only following traditional techniques and that it has a minimum percentage of honey and almonds. Raw materials that are also grown in Alicante, Valencia and/or Castellón.

How to know if a nougat is quality

The manufacturing process also plays a role in the quality of the nougat. Alicante and Jijona nougat has been handmade in the same way for more than 500 years, although at the end of the 19th century, with global industrialization, there were important changes.

The change from wood fire to the use of steam boilers led to the re-invention of the machinery necessary to manufacture nougat and meant that during the 20th century the typical Christmas sweet par excellence was manufactured in greater quantities and reached the whole world.

The nougat manufacturing process is simple but requires a great deal of experience and
savoir faire
(know-how). Doing it at home is very difficult. Each part of the process has an expert who checks that everything goes perfectly. A small error in any process can mean throwing away a “cooked” nougat. Below we show you the nougat manufacturing process organized step by step.

Most important: The almond

As explained above, the first sign to detect a good Jijona nougat is the almond. The fact that a nougat has a high percentage of almonds tells us that it has less sugars and is healthier. Our nougats always exceed 64% of pure marcona almonds that are grown in the Spanish Mediterranean basin. Never in Africa or California.

On the other hand, the variety of almond used is important. In Jijona we use a variety called marcona almonds. A very sweet Spanish almond with a high oil content.

Honey and sugar. Your percentage

It is important that the percentage of honey is always higher than that of sugar. Our nougat always exceeds the 10% that the regulatory board sets, even reaching 20% in some cases.

Making basic calculations with our star product, Jijona nougat: 70% almond + 17% honey = 87%. The remaining 13% are sugar and egg whites. Nougat with more quality? impossible.

Nougat flavor. The difference of success.

The success of a good nougat is differentiated by its flavor. The taste of good quality nougat must be balanced between honey and almond, which is why the percentages are so important to us.

The flavor of toasted almonds should predominate and be sweetened with the aroma of pure honey. A nougat with too much sugar would be sweet, but its flavor would be more “neutral” and poor. Imagine for a moment chewing cotton candy with almonds? We wouldn’t like it, would we?

The predominant flavor should be toasted almonds. A nougat with little almond does not taste like nougat.

Natural almond oil and the friability of good quality nougat.

Friability is the ease with which a thing crumbles. Unlike a nougat with a high percentage of sugar, good quality nougat should melt in your mouth as it breaks. A nougat with a lot of sugar causes a different effect and has a more sand-like texture Have you ever chewed a candy? The nougat should melt in your mouth!

On the other hand, a high presence of natural oil in nougat is indicative of high quality nougat. Marcona almonds are naturally oily and when roasted, this oil appears automatically. This presence of oil, in addition to giving the characteristic taste of toasted almonds, contributes to make each bite balanced, delicious and magical.

If you see that a nougat has some kind of thickener, preservative or oils that are not in the almond, it is not a quality nougat.

Where to buy good quality nougat?

Now that you know how to identify, recognize and buy quality nougat, do you dare to try ours?

In our online nougat store you will find the best catalog of artisan nougat in the market.