Ever since we first introduced handmade Montelimar nougat into our retail store in 2005, customers have asked how it differs from the familiar varieties they grew up with.
Nougat to the British palate is a pink and white chewy sweet, commonly found at fairgrounds or the seaside. In contrast, French nougat is worlds apart from this sickly-sweet confection we once knew.
Montelimar nougat has a long and rich history dating back to the 17th century. It is said to have been first created by the monks of the town of Montelimar, who were looking for a way to use up the leftover honey and almonds from their harvest. The monks’ nougat was sold locally and soon became a popular treat.
Having since developed into a gourmet speciality, tourists now travel to Montelimar just for a taste of the region’s finest examples. Local recipes are considered sacred, and passed down through family generations. Some varieties include hazelnuts, macadamia nuts or walnuts whereas others are embellished with finely sliced fruits glacés.
In the time-honoured tradition, Montelimar nougat is made in small batches by heating locally-sourced honey and sugar over a low heat, then folding in egg whites by hand before adding the finest almonds and pistachios (or other ingredient variations). Finally, the nougat is shaped into pieces, creating a light delicacy that melts in the mouth.
In contrast, mass-produced nougat is heated quickly for efficiency, but the result is heavier, sweeter and far less flavourful.
Fine confiserie connoisseurs consider Montelimar nougat to be the finest in the world, so it’s definitely worth trying again if your last recollection of it is from the seaside!
Buy our French Montelimar Nougat online or call us on 0121 314 3472 to place a telephone order.