Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Nougat de Montelimar

imageI don’t know what came over me when I went to Mel & Rose, but I bought this super-expensive nougat bar.

Here it is May, and I’m really missing my Christmas Torrones and I was weak and overwhelmed while browsing at Mel & Rose. It’s such a pretty looking bar too, look at all those nuts and the sticky white nougat.

The label is in French, except for the ingredients: Sugar, Almonds 28%, Glucose Syrup, Lavender Honey 7.5%, all flowers honey of provence 7.5%, Pistachios 2%, wafer of egg white, Vanilla natural aroma.

There’s not a single ingredient in there that doesn’t have my mouth watering. And it’s not just plain honey ... it’s Lavender honey! Yum.

Let me tell you, it’s divine. The honey flavors come out loud and clear here, more than any other French nougat that I’ve had (and I’ve had co-workers bringing me the stuff directly from France for the last 10 years). The honey is strong and musky and slightly floral. The delicate, light nougat is sweet without being cloying or sticky. It’s lightly fluffed which allows the honey and almond flavors to permeate the bar. The nuts are dreamily crisp and firm.

As it’s thinner than a regular Torrone block, it’s easy to bite off a bit, but hard to resist cramming the whole thing into my maw.

Though I balked at the price ($5.99) after I’d paid (I wasn’t paying attention), once I started photographing it and noticing the density of the nuts and glossy nougat, I knew I hadn’t made a mistake. Opening the wrapper and biting into it only confirms that.

Part of me never wants to go back to Mel & Rose because I will be obligated to buy this again, which of course will keep me from trying something new (or several somethings since this was $6), but it’s soooo good.

Even if you think you’ll never run across this nougat bar, browse around their website (or visit them if you’re in France). Here are some fun things I learned:

They produce 168 tons of nougat a year, using 33 tons of almonds ... that’s 45% of the almonds grown in Provence every year! They detail the process of making it, too (though some of the translations are a little wonky). The website says that you can order online, but I have no idea about the exchange and delivery to the United States. If you do end up ordering, please report back on how it went (and order some marshmallows and let me know how they are).

Name: Nougat de Montelimar
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Arnaud Soubeyran
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose
Price: $5.99
Size: 1.76 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Nougat, Nuts, France

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:17 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. “Nougat de Montelimar” is a generic term, not a brand. In France, nougat peddlers are as common as cotton candy vendors at street fairs.

    If you like this kind of confection, try “Calissons d’Aix-en-Provence”, an oval marzipan made with candied melon and almonds and coated in royal glaze. Amazon gourmet sells them at outrageous prices, but the best are freshly made by Puyricard (they also have a store in Paris).

    Trader Joes sometimes carries the nougat in their stores. My favorite nougat was the Callard & Bowser individually wrapped nougat, which also included candied fruit, but that line was discontinued by evil conglomerate Kraft Jacobs Suchard.

    Comment by Fazal Majid on 5/30/06 at 9:20 am #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    The brand is Arnaud Soubeyran, which is what I found on their website and fine print of the package (I guess I didn’t mention that in the text, just as a link and in the specs box).

    I’m afraid I’m not keen on marzipan, but I know some other readers would LOVE the Calissons d’Aix-en-Provence. (I’d probably give it a try too.)

    I had the Trader Joe’s nougat (boxed like Torrones), the little pistacho foamy ones in the tub and the bars like this one. The bars were okay ... it was missing the honey notes that I so especially love.

    Comment by Cybele on 5/30/06 at 9:33 am #
  3. Oooh, neat.  This is mentioned in the Beatles song, “Savoy Truffle”.  If I remember correctly, George had written it for a friend who had a huge sweet tooth.

    Comment by Julilla on 5/30/06 at 12:26 pm #
  4. I have been wanting to order those marshmallows (from Dean & Deluca) for the past two years!!!  I haven’t been able to justify $22 for marshmallows though.  Maybe this year I’ll be adventureous…..

    Comment by April on 5/30/06 at 7:09 pm #
  5. This is going to sound a little silly standing next to these French lovelies, but I wonder- what do you think of the Big Hunk bar (Annabelle brand)?

    It is big, chewy, and very honey-ish to me (you specified your liking to that).

    I have one in my freezer RIGHT NOW for my snap-apart-and-enjoy pleasure.  =o) 

    They’re cheap and you just may fall in love.

    Comment by Kirsten on 5/31/06 at 6:48 am #
  6. Cybele's avatar

    Julilla - I was just reading about the story behind Savoy Truffle!

    April - yeah, I drool over those on the Dean & Deluca website every holiday but I never take the plunge.

    Kirsten - I’ve tried Aba Zabba before, but not the Big Hunk (I have one, but I can’t bring myself to eat it). I have some dental phobias that it’s going to pull out my teeth. But I should probably try the microwave trick.

    Comment by Cybele on 6/01/06 at 6:41 am #
  7. No!!!  Microwaving would make it gooeier and softer in your teeth!!!

    Freeze it and then you get little snappy things that I bet would be less dental-challenging.

    Maybe cut it into three pieces (since it is so big), and try one part frozen, one regular, and one warmed.  =)

    Comment by Kirsten on 6/01/06 at 9:13 am #
  8. Unfortunatly, the website you linked says that they dispatch only to France. I dunno if dispatch means shipping, although I have to assume it does. Major bummer for me, because their products look delicious.

    Comment by Nicki Becker on 6/07/06 at 2:13 pm #
  9. Cybele's avatar

    Nicki - dang! sorry they don’t ship to the States.

    I did pick up some other more affordable and hopefully more available nougats at the All Candy Expo that I should be posting on in a week or so. Stay tuned!

    Comment by Cybele on 6/13/06 at 2:09 pm #
  10. Hey, I got nougat de montelimar at christmas (actually for Nikolaus day) for several years of my life.

    Since the EU there is a law that alllown nougat that’s named “de monelimar” to only and exclusively come from monelimar, a small town/city in france.
    The legend has it that they invented nougat there, an if you have tasted as many different brands as i did, you can believe that this is true.

    I just hope they get a better export because that’s what makes it so expensive. In luxemburg (where i’m from) or france it’s not more expensive than any other candy. I even love the “eatable paper” they put on the sides. Without it, it’n not the same. wink

    Comment by GrownWithNougat on 2/22/07 at 8:45 am #
  11. Montellimar is the home of nougat. When I went there to visit castles I saw about 5 different nougat makers and shop. I at so much nougat. It was so good. They sell hard or soft nougat and it comes in small cubes or bars.

    Comment by Ari on 12/14/07 at 10:05 am #
  12. Montelimar is as much home of the nougat as Torrone is. Actually, I make a great Montelimar style nougat as well as a Torrone and a Honey Nougat. I love making nougat. I like eating it too.

    Comment by Mark by Chocolate on 8/11/08 at 2:39 pm #
  13. I just gave some of this nougat to my mother as a gift. I bought in in the Charles de Gaulle Airport, and I’d never tried it myself, but it looked to be good quality and so I took a chance. The price was about 6 Euro for a small bar… yes, very expensive! To make a long story short, when I got home I gave the nougat to my mother (80 years old) who has eaten and loved nougat all her life, and she told me that this was the BEST nougat she has ever tasted. It was worth every penny to see her enjoying that nougat so much!!

    Comment by Jean on 10/06/08 at 12:18 am #
  14. I discovered the calisson d’Aix thanks to an article found in the french culture guide website. Here is the link:http://www.frenchcultureguide.com/05/calissons-daix-en-provence/
    I would like to taste it in real because for now, I’m just able to imagine the flavor in my mind! if someone have an address, please, let me know!

    Comment by sophie on 5/14/12 at 9:14 am #
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