Monday, February 20, 2012

specimens of the literature of Spain - Turrón de Jijona

... I got this for Xmas from Miranda, now a resident of Valencia.

Turrón is supposed to have originated in the town of Jijona (Valencian: Xixona). This was around 500 years ago. Jijona is about 12 km north of Alicante, on the Alcoy road. The EU recognizes Jijona as an Indicación Geográfica Protegida, and you can see the Jijona seal of quality (in gold) on the front of the packaging.

In fact there are similar confections throughout the Mediterranean region, under various different names. The immediate source might have been Iberian Islamic cuisine; something like it is mentioned in records from Roman times (cupedia, cupeto); cupedia also meant gourmandism, fondness for dainties. I don't know whether there is any etymological connection with cupiditas (avarice, ambition, party spirit, eager desire).

In Spain, as in Italy, turrón is something you have during the Christmas season. [Another year I ate "torrone mandorlato alla vaniglia" made in Ancona by Giampaoli.]

This packet contained the soft variety (blando), which is the kind I like best. The basic ingredients of turrón are honey, egg-white, sugar, and toasted almonds; in the soft kind the almonds are pasted. You don't eat it straight from the packet unless you don't care about making a mess (when the almonds are pulverized, a lot of oil is released). Instead, you cut it up in the kitchen and then serve it on a plate.

"El Romero" (The Pilgrim) is a well-known brand. This one contains toasted almonds (64%), sugar, honey (12%), emulsifier (E-471) and egg-white.

Turrón is also a popular ice-cream flavour.

Another brand from Jijona...


Meanwhile, tomorrow being Ash Wednesday, it's time for the Entierro de la Sardina; there's a significant one at Murcia.



At 9:02 pm, Blogger All My Own Idea said...

It tastes like Halva, so hence the Islamic connection I guess...the kind of sweet I never think about, never want, never buy, but when I eat it, I always want more...hence the eager desire, avarice connection...but it doesn't mention pancakes,...although you do mention Ash Wednesday...more about this day tomorrow?? Or may be a recipe for pancakes...thanks anyway,...although can't face the thought of anything right now as have just eaten 5 wheat free kit kats - highly recommended - from Sainsbury's, and 6 wheat free triple choc biscuits - very rich, and luscious - from Co-Op, but can't be bothered to give ingredients as feel too ill. I would'nt say I'm bulemic, more that I have a syndrome called 'Greeditispiggypoozus'

At 4:18 am, Blogger Mel said...

It looks yummy!

At 10:01 am, Blogger Michael Peverett said...

had 2 pancakes yesterday in the canteen - they were OK, but a bit dried up. Didn't really compare with the mighty Chittle's "Blossoms" , "Jubilee" etc. Have I told you I'm currently eating my way through F&M Diamond Jubilee marmalade "studded with diamonds of peel and ribbons of gold leaf" ? - nasty. Wow u shd do a gluten-free consumer's guide!! (with spreadsheet):>


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