Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tout A Sweet...

The same bonbon shop loaded with caramels, BLEU DANS L'ILE, on the ile St. Louis is also loaded with NOUGAT.
In fact they carry bonbons from all over France - French regional specialties up the WHA-ZOO! Truely, the range of regional goodies in France is astonishing.And more often than not you can't find them outside of their home region!!!
Multi-colored NOUGAT...I couldn't resist taking all these endless pictures of NOUGAT...
There is dark nougat (with Lavender honey) called Noir de Provence.
Almond nougat · Dried cherry nougat glace · Fruit nougat · Fudge nougats · bla bla bla There are no end of variety of NOUGATS and most of them come from
MONTELIMAR, where it was invented so to speak in the end of XVIIème century. Arnaud Soubeyran makes 67 tons of nougat there every year.
But first Olivier de Serre had to bring in Almond trees from Asia to Provence.
Really NOUGAT goes back to the Greeks. Anywhere there was honey and almonds and egg whites around. To make Nougat à l'Ancienne you need:
28% of peeled roasted almonds (at 180 degrees)
20 - 50 % Lavender honey
2% pistachio nuts.

Mix Lavender honey with water and sugar, stir the contents to 130 centigrade, pour the syrup into whipped egg whites, add the almonds together with a little vanilla. Traditionally it's stirred in a copper cauldron (see the arrow). Spread it on to rice paper, cool, cut into squares the next day and Et Voila!
Here is the "regional NOUGAT" I picked up in Cape May. A chunk of hardened marshmallow with severed gum drops embedded. Need I say more...
I must admit as a kid I relished this tooth-destroying sweetie.
But I've moved on to the French stuff! :)

20 comments:

  1. Oh my...I think nougat teaches us to eat it slowly and savor it- as the French do : )

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  2. Very well put H MALOTT

    Your teeth will fall out enmass, deeply embedded in the Nougat if you don't eat it slowly.

    This may be why I didn't buy any.

    I did eat and quickly too, the mini versions Cafes Richard gave me - why you see only the cello wrapper...
    But I do plan to eat very slowly a barre of serious Nougat next trip!

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  3. loveitaly9:32 AM

    I've always thought nougat is an unusual sweet, but there's something intriguing about it, too. I like the sound of the cherry nougat...think I'd probably like that. I love that watercolor, Carol--great job on those cups--you definitely mastered that one.

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  4. Yummm..It's especially good covered in chocolate. ;-)
    Love the painting with that pretty writing. Would love it without it, but that's the cherry in the Nougat.. ;-)
    Cris in OR

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  5. Anonymous10:20 AM

    Your calligraphy looks wonderful, Carol. What is the book that you've been using to learn it? I've always wanted to learn it myself for gift tags, cards, etc.

    Amities,
    Marsi

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  6. foodwalker10:28 AM

    I LOVE NOUGAT! ! !
    Now I have to go find some somewhere in SF!!!
    xx Annie

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  7. suzanna10:47 AM

    Wow!
    You GOT it, Carol!
    That cup is wonderful--you really got the sheen and the shaping beautifully, and your practicing with the ecriture is paying off--it's perfect!
    This is playful with the nougats here, and that might be the first time the spoon's been in that position.
    You know I like those wrappers!

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  8. We called this kind of sweet "Turkish Honey", it was sold freshly made at country fairs and the like. I loved the fresh soft one.
    Reading about that hard glob, my teeth hurt. :-)
    P.S.: I never quite figured out what Saltwater Taffy was made off. Some were really yummy, up and down the boardwalks of the East Coast.

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  9. Sarah B3:08 PM

    Carol,

    Thank you for the nougat recipe! Your photos remind me of the time when my brother and I were very young and our much older sister sent us a box of individually wrapped nougats from somewhere. They were so magically good. We both remember that even though we had to be about 4 and 5 years old at the time.

    I also love your French calligraphy. I have often wondered about the "rules" for writing in French, for example it seems as though they don't capitalize "I" the way we do, etc. IS there a book you could recommend for learning about this?

    Sarah B

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  10. mmmm. I love Nougat, it is the best. (especially the ones with Lavender Honey) We used to buy it all the time when we lived in Europe, but it does stick to your teeth!(great if you are a dentist!)

    Carol, your painting is beautiful, your blog is like a petites vacances!
    Lidy

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  11. oh so yummy...thanks for the pictures...now how about sending some over here...blessings, rebecca

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  12. I love these candies!

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  13. anucci5:19 PM

    You do such beautiful work!

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  14. WAiT until you taste Nougat from my French village!!! I cannot wait to have you licking your lips and painting the adorable 400 year old place!

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  15. That is one sweet I love -- great photos.

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  16. It was so funny seeing all the lovely French versions of this unique treat and then seeing the American version and your description of it. The watercolor with empty candy wrapper is great. I'm glad you explained how it's made because I was really curious what nougat actually was.

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  17. "Nougat" is one of my favorite things to paint, it's delightful adding almonds and pistaches in the fresh white!I'm feeling like a cook!

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  18. I've currently trying to make nougat. The stuff is so addictive. Thanks for the insightive post.

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  19. Nougat was always a special treat during my childhood! The kind that had eatable paper, made from rice, surrounding it. Can still taste it, yum!

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  20. I love nouget! mmm naturegirl

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