Friday, December 23, 2005

Trader Joe’s Torrones

Name: Italian Soft Almond Nougat
Brand: Trader Joe’s
Place Purchased: Trader Joe’s
Price: $3.99
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 120
Type: Nougat

When I was a kid we got rather eclectic Christmas stockings filled with candy treats that we never got any other time of the year. Christmas candy was unlike any other in our house or for any other holiday, it was a trip around the world in an oversized sock. English hard candies, Swiss & Belgian chocolates and Italian Torrones. I’ve been having a hard time finding Torrones the past few years here in Los Angeles, I used to get them at Cost Plus World Market, but haven’t seen them for quite a while. This is why I was so excited to see that Trader Joe’s had these when I was there last weekend.


Torrones are soft nougat usually flavored Amaretto, orange, vanilla or


lemon. Most European countries have their own version of the Torrone, the French do nice nougats, in both the soft and hard varieties and the Swiss Toblerone bar has hard honey nougat bits in it and the Spanish are well known for their version, the Turron. The European nougat is rather different than what you find in the American candy bar trade. Trader Joe’s has carried nougat in the past in long bars, but I’d never seen these Christmas classics before. They’re individually wrapped pieces in its own little box and gives a little history:

According to legend, nougat was born in Cremona, Italy in 1441. It was during a wedding of a local nobility that the bride and groom were offered a sweed made with honey, almonds and egg white. It was in the shape of the Torrazzo, a 13th century tower, for which the Italian word “Torrone” originated.

There are 18 of these little individually wrapped packages, boxed together. The torrone is soft and pliable white nougat that is and is sheathed in an edible, tasteless wafer to keep it from sticking. The slice of nougat has a lot of nuts but is not as “fluffy” as some others, in fact, it looks downright flat. The pieces are ample, like one of those big block pencil erasers. The scent is very nice, sweet and with a good


dose of honey in there. It’s good and soft, so it’s not going to remove any dental work, sweet and it dissolves quickly and mixes with the delicate almonds. The flavoring is a little odd. Most Torrones are one flavor but this one seems to be a mix of lemon and amaretto. But neither is very apparent so it just ends up being a subtle essence.

Overall, they’re not quite satisfying my jones for a good Torrone, but they are fresh and here so they’ll do for now for the stocking stuffers. They’re certainly cheaper than some others I’ve bought but I miss the fanciful pictures of Italian royalty on the individual boxes. The biggest drawback of the overpackaging (plastic wrap, boxes inside bigger box) is that it’s quite obvious how many you’ve eaten when there’s a huge pile of torrone detritus next to you on the couch.

More about Torrones: Best of Sicily & Wikipedia.

Rating - 8 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:25 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewChristmasTrader Joe'sNougatNuts8-TastyUnited States

  1. I still live by Bloomfield, I’d send you a box of the good stuff.  :D I love Torrones.

    Comment by Tindy on 12/23/05 at 9:45 am #
  2. Cybele, you are very welcome to erase this afterwards, but I just noticed a few spelling/gramer/typing to fast mistakes.

    “Torrones are soft nougat usually flavored Amaretto, orange, vanilla or orange.”  I think one of those oranges should be lemon?

    “The torrone is soft and pliable white nougat that is [insert forgotten adjective] and is sheathed in an edible, tasteless wafer to keep it from sticking.”

    “...sweet and with a good does of honey…” Maybe dose?

    I’m not critizing here.  Actually, I’m a horrible speller, but because I read rather slow and deliberately (thank you TV, for forever retarding my reading level), I catch a lot of little things like that.  I really do enjoy your blog!

    Comment by Mad Cow on 12/24/05 at 4:21 am #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Mad Cow - I must have been eating too many of those Vodka filled chocolates I also picked up at Trader Joe’s when I wrote this up (and those spellcheckers never catch context stuff like this). Thanks for the heads up and thanks for reading!

    Comment by Cybele on 12/24/05 at 9:02 am #
  4. Hmm—Still wondering when TJ’s will start carrying fair trade chocolates—Any news on that front?

    Comment by green LA girl on 12/25/05 at 2:08 am #
  5. I have been reading you blog for several months and love it.  Thanks, Angela

    Comment by Angela on 1/01/06 at 10:22 am #
  6. Dear buyers:

    My italian cousins and I were discussing the candy torrone and remembering the candy we ate as children.  The torrone used to be firmer, crunchie almost with a dry, thicker wafer on top and bottom.    We want to know if you have found this original type torrone anywhere (Italy)?  Thanks!  Debbie

    Comment by debbie botto on 6/18/06 at 11:21 am #
  7. Many years ago my Uncle cornered the market on the original Torrones with the communion wafers on top, and the wonderful almonds and sweet nougat. If you want to buy the original, go to his website, and put in an order. Or just click on the hyperlink The lady on the carton—that’s my Aunt Madeline! While the packaging would lead you to believe she invented the Torrone, she’s not that old. These are the genuine article that you remember from your childhood.

    Comment by John DeLallo on 8/28/06 at 8:21 pm #


    Comment by NICHOLAS VILLANO on 12/07/06 at 7:18 am #
  9. Nick:
    We just wiped out a whole box of Torrone’s the day after Thanksgiving. Just click on, and place your order. 7 bucks for 18 individually wrapped torrones. You even get to see my Aunt Madeliene’s picture and biography. Its a source of great delight, as it makes her appear to be a couple of hundred years old (she’s not)If you want to buy in case lots, you can do that too. I keep telling people that my uncle George cornered the market on Torrones some years ago. He really did, and you can buy them.

    Comment by John DeLallo on 12/10/06 at 7:49 pm #
  10. I grew up in Jeannette, PA (where DeLallo’s is located) and got torrones in my stocking every year.  Go to their web-site.  Now that I’m in Louisiana, that’s what I do.

    Comment by Liz on 1/09/07 at 5:14 pm #
  11. Anyone remember nouget bites that used to come in small white and blue boxes? they used to I believe have pictures of boys and girls on them, Id get them around christman maybe 20 years ago. I am desperatly trying to find the brand if anyoen can helpI’d appreciate it. If my memory holds judging by the pictures im say scandanavian but i dotn remember at all. Any help would be greatly appreciated thank you

    Comment by Carter on 10/20/11 at 7:02 pm #
  12. I found your candy blog hunting for Italian Nougat Rachael Ray was talking about on her show today.  Hers were “Ferrara Torrone” (might’ve misspelled that!)  I was sure Cost Plus would have them, but they only had another brand (that I may try, just for the sake of comparison).  I’ll also try Trader Joe’s, and might even send for some of the DeLallo’s mentioned in these comments.  Still want to find the ones Rachael showed today. 

    Yay! It’s Candy Season!  Time to add five lbs in the next two months!

    Comment by Troobee on 10/29/15 at 3:45 pm #
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