What is Nougat?
Nougat is a type of candy made from mixing sugar, egg whites, and a paste made from nugat seeds. In some cases, honey is used instead of sugar. This type of candy is also commonly mixed with nuts that are roasted. Popular nuts mixed in the nougat mixture are almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. Depending on what is part of the candy mixture, nougat may be soft and chewy or hard and crunchy.
Unknown to many people, nougat’s main ingredient is derived from nugat seeds. These seeds come from a tree called Nugat tree which are common in the eastern and central parts of Africa. The nugat seeds are made into paste and are used in making nougat candy. Though there aren’t much Nugat trees producing nugat seeds around the world, the good thing is that only a small amount of nugat seed paste is needed to make the nougat candy. As little as one ounce of nugat paste is enough to make 50 pounds of nougat candy when mixed with the other ingredients like sugar or honey and egg whites.
Nougat comes in three basic types. One is called “white nougat” and this is made with honey combined with egg whites that are thoroughly beaten. Another type is called “brown nougat” which involves no egg whites in the mixture making it more firm and crunchy. This type is called “mandorlato” in Italy and “nougatine” in France. The third nougat type is called the “German nougat” which combines nuts and chocolate.
Nougat can be found in various preparations in many countries of the world. Some use a variety of nuts along with the egg whites and honey or sugar. Others use corn syrup to sweeten the candy mixture, while others add other ingredients like milk powder and vegetable fats. Famous candies that contain nougat are Mars, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Toblerone, and Baby Ruth among others.