Story of nougat
Can help us understand in a more objective way this product. Nougat, defined as “roasted seeds (almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts) kept together by a sweet paste made with honey, egg white, sugar and in some cases flavours” is far from being just an Italian specialty. The Sicilian word seems to be derived from an Arabic word, thus suggesting a Middle Eastern origin. Anyway, “torrone” is well known also in France, where it is called “touron” or “nougat”, derived from Latin “nucatum”.
In Provence, before the introduction of the cultivation of almonds in the seventeenth century, nougat was produced with nuts. In Spain it is called “turrón”and written documents report the presence of this product since the fifteenth century. The Spanish word is quite similar to the Italian “torrone” and its most reliable origin can be found in the Latin verb “torrere”, which means toast.