Culinary Sleuth

Holiday Confection from an Italian Kitchen

by Lynn Kerrigan


Italian Cuisine  
The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!

For many people, the start of November heralds the beginnings of a season filled with excitement and busy schedules. Shopping, wrapping, decorating and baking top everyone's list of things to do. Kitchens across the world heat up, as busy cooks produce homemade gifts and holiday baked goods.

Many of us bake the same cookies year after year. But we also seek new recipes to include in our yearly baking spree and add to family traditions.

This year, consider torrone. Unless you're Italian, you may never have heard of torrone. It's not well known outside of Italy though it may be found in some American gourmet shops. It has an ancient heritage—possibly dating back to the Roman Empire. Legend has it that torrone was so highly prized that early Italians even included it as part of their female child's dowry.

Torrone is Italian nougat that may be served at afternoon tea or more traditionally after a huge holiday feast. It also makes a nice gift—torrone bars keep well and may be nicely wrapped. Like fruitcake, torrone is associated with the holidays. It's a typical ending to an Italian Christmas feast.

This light confection has a melt in your mouth quality and is suitable for experimentation. It may be flavored with chocolate or extracts. You may use flavored honey to make torrone. Torrone is made soft or hard, depending on your preference. Hard torrone is similar to peanut brittle. Soft torrone is the traditional Italian meal ender. Recipes for both kinds follow.


Torrone di Noce (Walnut Brittle)

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Copyright © 1998-2001, Lynn Kerrigan. No portion of this article may be reproduced for publication without express, written permission of the author.

This page created November 1999

This page modified February 2007