Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Nutpatch Nougats

I don’t usually buy into the stories behind candy, because a story is great but doesn’t amount to much once you put the candy in your mouth. It’s fun to read them on the package insert, you know, while munching away. But the story on Nutpatch Nougats is pretty good.

Nutpatch Nougat is made by John Zito, using natural ingredients and his own, locally grown hazelnuts and we have another local product, Bumnuts’ Free Range Eggs that come from Nicholls Rivulet Organic Food Farm on the island of Tasmania in Australia.

That’s some serious local food going on there ... I’m guessing the only thing that’s not local is the little edible rice paper wrapping.

Nutpatch NougatI first tried Nutpatch in January at the Fancy Food Show at a booth run by Tassie Naturals that sells lots of other wonderful Tasmanian sweets, like Leatherwood Honey. But I was there for the classic nougat and Larry at Tassie Naturals was actually waiting for me. What I tasted back in January were samples, just slices from the large bar that they sell, wrapped in plain clear cellophane. Hey, I didn’t need any fancy wrappings.

But what I did need was another fix. So I emailed Larry back in March ... nope, it’s not ready yet. I had to distract myself with other things for a while.


So I wait ... and wait ... to hear back from Larry that he was ready to start selling Nutpatch Nougat in the United States. Then, just after Memorial Day I got the good news ... oh, it was not only good that they were ready to start selling but because the package changed, he insisted on sending me new samples. (Okay, insisted is strong, he said he would send them and I said, “Yay!”)

Almond Nougat - this nougat doesn’t have honey notes, no, it tastes just like honey. Like I’ve put honeycomb in my mouth, honeycomb studded with almonds. Sweet, mellow honey and almonds. A soft bite, good crunchy nuts and a smooth melt on the tongue with that crazy, crazy honey.

Hazelnut Nougat - this smells like hazelnut. And it made me realize that hazelnuts smell like freshly cut fruit woods. Oh, and then there’s the honey. It’s sweet and has that beeswax scent. Sweet, but not overwhelming. The whole thing tastes toasty. It’s sweet, but not throat-burningly. It feels like a treat, but it doesn’t have that sugar let-down later, probably because of the high nut content and all that protein.

There are a lot of nuts in these. Some nougats are excited to proclaim 25-40% nut content. Nutpatch Nougat is about 60% nuts by weight. Oh, and the number two ingredient on the list is not sugar ... it’s honey!

My biggest complaint here is that the nougat is packaged in this huge bar. At 5.6 ounces, it’s pretty big ...  think two sticks of butter. It’s a little vexing to slice and of course if I wanted to just pop this in my picnic I have to bring a knife of pre-slice it. The Nougat de Montelimar at least can be pulled apart or bitten off easily. (Of course the Nougat de Montelimar is $3.45 an ounce and Nutpatch is $1.75 an ounce ... I think I can be troubled to pre-slice.)

Nutpatch Nougat Chocolate BarsChocolate Covered Nougat Bars - these are just gorgeous little unassuming bars ... seriously, who knows what’s in there just by looking?

While I was thinking that the bars would be the same as the nougat, the nougat seems different just by being molded into the chocolate bar. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been sealed from any oxidation or because the chocolate is just so thick and fragrant, but this bar is definitely more about the chocolate.

Nutpatch NougatThe little fingers of nougat are studded with hazelnuts. The bottom layer has the typical rice paper wafer, but the tops and sides don’t. The chocolate is overpowering ... not that that’s a bad thing. It’s very tasy dark Callebaut. But it does overpower the honey notes for me. But for what it takes away it brings something else that’s wonderful, an intense creaminess and extra woody flavors that boost the nuts. The hazelnuts definitely seemed stronger here.

As chocolate covered nougats go, this is pretty much at the top of my list, but if I had to pick ... if you put a plate in front of me that had these bars or a selection of the Holiday Nougat from Valerie Confections, I might go with Valerie’s, I just like the balance of the nougat and chocolate and of course the citrus boost. Of course the Holiday Nougat isn’t available right now ... so Nutpatch would satisfy an off-season jones. (No one is actually selling the Nutpatch Chocolate Bars yet, so it’s all hypothetical.)

More reading on Nutpatch Nougats: Other Nougat is Not a Patch on This. Where to buy? Right now you can order online at Natural Food Finds. I imagine since this is a very small operation, the nougat will be in short supply, so order it when they have it if you’re interested.

UPDATE 06/15/2007: Through some strange snafu, I quoted a price from the Natural Food Finds that wasn’t quite final. I said it’s $9.89 when in reality it’s now selling for $14.95 ... still a much better deal than most other fine European-style nougats (certainly still beating the Soubeyran). The good news is that Natural Food Find WILL give Candy Blog readers a $1.50 off until July 11, 2007. Just enter the coupon code CBJUN11 if you order to get the special reduced price deal. My apologies for any confusion to anyone.

No word yet on anyone selling the chocolate covered nougat bars.

Name: Nutpatch Nougats
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: distributed by Tassie Naturals (US)
Place Purchased: samples from Tassie Naturals
Price: $9.89 $14.95
Size: 5.62 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Nougat, Nuts, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:58 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. OMG, these sound amazing!!!  Must try!!!

    Comment by Julilla on 6/06/07 at 11:39 am #
  2. hey i live in tassie and haven’t even heard of these!!!!!  must get some asap.

    Comment by michelle on 6/06/07 at 8:05 pm #
  3. These look fantastic. Gotta try some!

    Comment by patti on 6/07/07 at 7:06 am #
  4. the thought of honey made me swoon so i ordered both the almond and hazelnut. mucho yummy!!! SO MUCH HONEY!!! the people at natural food finds are a pleasure to do business with and very conscientious. this is a gotta for those who love all nougat.

    Comment by diana on 6/27/07 at 3:35 am #

    Comment by Analia on 6/03/08 at 3:18 am #
  6. Love them when I lived in Australia for three years I had a taste of these wonderful Almond Nougat smile Love them!!!!!!!!

    Comment by foodcreate on 5/18/09 at 6:06 pm #
  7. I sampled the nougat and chocolates on 9th March after a day on Bruny Island and was blown away by the taste of the products. John was wonderful in his explanation of all his products and not being a real lover of exotic chocolates the flavors werea amazing and not overly rich. I was amazed by the detail that went into making the chocolates. Can’t wait to go back or even order some more online.

    Comment by Vern Haywood on 3/12/12 at 2:00 am #
  8. Hi John My husband and i visited your shop on Saturday.  We enjoyed hearing about how the chocolate is made and look forward to booking one of your masterclasses in the winter.

    Please could you email me once you have organised it. 

    Thanks kindly

    Teresa. PS your nougat it the best ive ever eaten.  Thx

    Comment by teresa seaman on 3/18/12 at 7:03 pm #
  9. Been here today. OMG. You won’t be disappointed. It’s awesome and the range is astounding. Nougat, chocolate etc

    Comment by Anne on 3/09/13 at 8:52 pm #
  10. I stumbled on John’s little shop by accident while I had some friends down visiting in Tassie… What an amazing shop he has and such a lovely guy!!!! I’ve now been back several times to enjoy tasting his new adventures in the chocolates he makes!!! He will be making my ‘wedding cake’ this year which will actually be a sculpture!!! I CAN NOT wait for the big day when I get to see/admire/enjoy his creation!! I have to admit I haven’t tried the nougat yet .... I think another visit is in need after reading the reviews!!!!!

    Comment by Sarah on 3/27/13 at 4:54 am #
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