Friday, August 18, 2006

Massam’s Nougat

My recent shopping spree at Mel & Rose’s has a little story attached to it. A commercial was recently shooting on our street and the production crew paid us $300 for the inconvenience of having other people park in our driveway and the fact that they were going to wake us up 90 minutes earlier than they told us. I vowed to spend $100 of that on import/upscale candies (I consider it an investment in Candy Blog!). So off to Mel & Rose’s while the crew was making a ruckus and fouling the air with their diesel generators.

I was very tempted to get the Nougat de Montelimar again, but they had quite a few other import varieties, so I thought since someone else was footing my experimentation bill, I’d branch out to other continents.


Massam’s Deluxe Nougat is about as far flung as I could find, made in South Africa. It’s a lovely chunk of nougat, about the size of half of a Snickers bar. The white inside wrapper on it is actually a potato starch paper that’s edible. The nougat itself is not quite hard and not quite soft. The almond distribution is a little uneven. I had two bars, the first one had a great balance of them, but the second one had a complete void of almonds on one half and then a nice amount in the other half.

The taste of the nougat is sweet and smooth and the starch of the potato wrapper gives it a rather cereal quality. It’s odd, as I get to the end of the chew it reminds me of Cheerios. The honey notes weren’t as rich as I’d hoped, but these bars are pretty good in their own right. I had a little trouble biting them, so for the second bar I started cutting it with a knife and it worked a bit better.

At a dollar twenty-five a piece for an imported nougat (they’re a little over an ounce each when I weighed them, but there’s nothing on the label) they’re pretty good. I might pick them up again, especially for the novelty of the potato paper.

For the record, I only spent $50 on candy that day, including a tasting kit of Michel Cluizel that I’ll have a review of soon. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I guess you should never go to a candy store AFTER lunch. I bought a new bike with the rest of the money.

This nougat is both Kosher (Parev) and Hallal.

Name: Massam's Deluxe Nougat
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Massam's
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose's
Price: unknown
Size: 6.7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 141
Categories: Nougat, Nuts, Kosher, South Africa

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:38 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I think you have the wrong product name listed in your little chart thingy at the bottom of the entry.

    Comment by Alex on 8/18/06 at 7:37 am #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    Oopsie! Thanks for the note, Alex.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/18/06 at 7:40 am #
  3. Any idea what the Ad was for? Also, with $300 it would have been cool to commission a small producer to fashion you your own personal candy or truffle.

    Comment by GTO on 8/18/06 at 8:34 am #
  4. Cybele's avatar

    GTO - the commerical was for Mass Mutual, a Boston-based bank. The last commercial they filmed on our street also promised not to wake me up (for Wal-Mart), but placed the generator below my bedroom window and started setting up at 6:30 AM ... so there was no way I was putting up with that without some compensation this time.

    The money was basically because I knew they were going to violate all of the agreements about start times and I figured I’d get it up front. (We have a lot of production stuff that goes on in our neighborhood, so we’re learning as we go.) The production company had to get a sign off from ALL of the neighbors because they were shooting on a Sunday, which is not permitted ordinarily by the permit department.

    As soon as the weather gets cooler around here, I might start doing some more candy making and posting recipes. I’d love to have my own little line of candies!

    Comment by Cybele on 8/18/06 at 8:42 am #
  5. A bank…Slightly less exciting than I imagined, lol. Yeah, your own little one off product would be cool, “Cacao Blog nibs” perhaps, or something akin to Lemonheads…“Mayheads”?

    Comment by GTO on 8/18/06 at 10:31 am #
  6. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these nougats in the US - I guess I need to start looking harder! I’m intrigued.

    My husband lived in Thailand for 2 years in early elementary, and Korea for 2 years in high school (his dad was in the army). During one of these experiences, he developed a fondness for Botan Rice Candy - it comes with an edible rice paper wrapper, probably similar to this potato starch wrapper. In our experience, children are quite delighted at a chance to eat the wrapper. (Anyone who tries this should note that Botan Rice Candy (at least that available to us in the US) now has 2 wrappers - an inedible one around the rice paper one.)

    Comment by Tricia on 8/18/06 at 3:47 pm #
  7. Ooooooooooooo! A new bike! Awesome! That’s money well spent! smile

    Comment by Sera on 8/18/06 at 5:25 pm #
  8. the best nougat i ever had was also from south africa. the brand is sally williams. it’s also kosher, and with the edible rice paper wrapping.  great honey taste, fantastic texture. it’s very hard to find in the states though. i usually get someone to bring it back for me from S.A.

    Comment by rachel b. on 8/20/06 at 4:40 am #
  9. i MUST have a nougat. i’ve been intrigued since the montelimar post in may. i went to the site but it wasn’t very helpful. i could buy online but only in huge quantities. do you know where i could get montelimar? i loove lavender honey and this one is a gotta. i’ve tried cost plus world market and whole foods. i live in chicago. does mel & rose ship? there has to be an easier way.

    Comment by nani on 8/21/06 at 3:57 am #
  10. Cybele's avatar

    Rachel b. - I’ll keep my eye out for it ... I did buy another nougat on that trip that I haven’t tried yet, but it wasn’t a S.A. one.

    Nani - I’ll keep poking around to see if I can find a place online that carries montelimar. In the mean time, it can’t hurt to call Mel & Rose to see if they would ship just the bars to you. They do gift baskets, so I would think they could accomodate you. (I really hope you like it after going through all those hoops!) Their number is 323-655-5557

    Comment by Cybele on 8/22/06 at 6:16 am #
  11. Cybele's avatar

    Ooh! nani, look what I found!

    I’ve never ordered from this company, and the montelimar lavender honey bar is out of stock, but they may get it back in soon. Let me know if you do order from them.

    Comment by Cybele on 8/22/06 at 11:43 am #
  12. Sally williams nougat is the best, its handmade with & honey with nuts! yum, simply heavenly!

    Comment by Leigh-SouthAfrica on 9/08/06 at 11:22 pm #
  13. Hi, I wanted to let everyone know that we have Montelimar Nougat in stock again at our gourmet candy store, We love the honey flavor too.

    Cybele, Thanks for mentioning us! grin  I really enjoy your blog and have been meaning to get in touch with you. While our store has been live since this spring, we haven’t had our official grand opening yet. But we’re starting to build an internet presence and the sweet teeth of the world (and those who give gifts to them) are beginning to find us!

    Our goal is to make available hard-to-find, “real-food” candy and confections from around the world (especially non-chocolate ones). We also offer a large selection of varietal honey and other specialty sweeteners. If you or your readers have any ideas for products you’d like us to carry, we’d love to hear from you! I’ll be posting a bunch of super-cool new items this week so stay tuned…

    Comment by Dawn on 9/10/06 at 1:18 pm #
  14. Hi - I googled Massam’s and found your blog.  Glad you like it, I LOVE their nougat.  Just have to point out that it’s not potato starch paper though, it’s rice paper - my sis and I grew up raiding my mom’s baking supplies to snack on her rice paper and I still love rice paper to this day.

    Comment by Kit on 5/26/10 at 1:14 pm #
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