French Food Friday: Nougat de Montélimar
I made a bit of a mistake when I thought up French Food Friday. As I explained last week, the idea came from the hamper of French regional goodies Benj assembled as a joint present for me and Chris. Well, I should have taken a photo of everything in the hamper then, because we’ve eaten most of it now. So for today’s post about nougat de Montélimar all I can show you is the empty wrapper and one (and a tiny bit) remaining piece!
Like last week’s confiture lait, although now strongly associated with France, nougat sprang up in various different countries at different times. The earliest recipe was found in Baghdad in the tenth century. French nougat was first recorded in 1595, and it was a product of Provence. The famous nougat de Montélimar didn’t appear until 1701.
Now what’s interesting is that nougat which calls itself nougat de Montélimar doesn’t have to be produced in Montélimar. It means it’s a certain type of nougat, one consisting of at least 30% almonds, or 28% almonds and 2% pistachios, and 25% honey. The other two main ingredients are sugar and beaten egg white. These days most nougat is made on a large industrial scale but there are still some manufacturers that produce it traditionally in large pans and supply it with its edible paper wrapping on each side. This paper is known as papier azyme or papier hostie. I’ve had a dig around and it seems it can be made in quite a variety of ways and consists of anything from potato starch and palm oil to simply flour and water.
French nougat is white nougat. You can also get black nougat, and a German version which consists of chocolate and nuts. Our nougat de Montélimar didn’t last very long as it is, sorry was, absolutely delicious!
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