A blog and review on all things Sherry. It is about tasting, enjoyment and learning more about the World’s Finest Wine. "Sherry is a thoroughbred" as Javier Hidalgo rightly puts it. Included are the amazing local Brandies and the remarkably good table wines also produced in the province of Cádiz.
magnificent almond based sweetmeat is found all over Mediterranean Europe and
reaches its peak of perfection in Spain. The word comes from the Latin torrere
(to toast) and the product has a very long history, possibly back to 4th
century BC Rome. In Spain the oldest references come from the XV century in the
town of Jijona near Alicante in the East of the country. King Felipe II decreed
in 1595 that turrón and pan de higos (lit. fig bread, a compressed bar of
chopped dried figs with or without a drop of anis) should be given at Christmas
time, and they have been ever since.
January and February the countryside is lit up spectacularly with the beautiful
pinky-white almond blossom, and the harvest takes place mid-August to late
September. The nuts are dried in the sun for a day or two so they can be ground
if necessary. After the USA, Spain is the world’s largest producer of almonds.
simply made from toasted almonds (occasionally other nuts), egg white and
cooked sugar and honey (usually rosemary or thyme) in a variety of ways. The
Alicante style is stiff and resembles nougat with whole almonds in it, while
the Jijona style (often referred to as “blando” or soft) uses ground almonds
and is comparatively soft. It is essentially simple, but over time an enormous
number of variations have appeared which contain for example chocolate,
coconut, liqueur, egg yolk or toasted rice. They are nearly always sold in 250
or 300 gram bars.
Turron de Jijona (foto IGP)
there is an Indicación Geográfica Protegida (like a Denominación de Origen) “Jijona
y Turrón de Alicante” which protects, promotes and supervises their good name. Nevertheless,
the producers here also make a huge range of other sweetmeats such as marzipan
and various other “dulces” (sweetmeats) which originate elsewhere like Pán de
Cádiz and Polvorones (Estepa). Equally, of course, turrón is produced elsewhere
in Spain, but without the IGP.
Turron de Alicante (foto IGP)
the Spanish food shops and supermarkets begin to positively bristle with Turrón
in every imaginable flavour, along with all the other dulces, often in
beautifully arranged selection boxes. They are utterly irresistible, but don’t
worry, they are very nutritious. There is very little saturated fat but lots of
protein and vitamins. And of course they are only available in the Christmas
period, which is an incredible pity - but probably just as well!
wine to accompany turrón is a richer style of Sherry like an off-dry oloroso or