A Twist on Turrón! The Tasty Spainish Tradition

The surprising sweet treat of turron this Christmas! Credit: Mercadona

SPANISH supermarket Mercadona have recently released a sweet speciality for Christmas, Turrón Cheesecake, and people are going wild for it! 

What is turrón?

Turrón is a nougat confection that is typically made from honey, sugar and egg whites, with toasted almonds or other nuts. It is usually eaten as a dessert or sweet treat around Christmas time in Spain and Italy, becoming a trusted tradition in many households. 

Why is it so popular in Spain?

The origins of turrón can be traced back to the Moors, who invaded Spain back in the early Middle Ages. Most food historians agree that it was in this Arabic age of the country that the early versions of turrón were first made, and quickly became popular with the people. The tradition of turrón at Christmas can be found as far back as 1582, where a document claims that it was common for patrons to offer it to their workers around Christmas time as a festive bonus.

In Spain today, turrón remains one of the most popular treats to be offered around the time of the Christmas holidays. In 2022, the province of Alicante alone produced over 15 million tons of it, 89 per cent of which was sold during the festive period. Euro Weekly News spoke to Joana Perez, from Marbella Spain, who explained that “turrón at Christmas is absolutely necessary. It would not feel like Christmas without it, it is one of my earliest memories, eating it on Christmas Eve especially. My mother told me that her grandma even used to make it!”. It is not only the Spanish that enjoy this tasty tradition, many residents of Spain from other countries have also incorporated turrón into their Christmas confections. Keith Curran, who lives in Estepona and is from Ireland, told EWN that “oh turrón, yes we love it! I even took it back home last year to give some to my family there, so many households in Cork (Ireland) also eat it at Christmas now!” He laughed. 

The newest version

Turrón comes in a number of different types and flavours, depending on the ingredients used and the method of preparation. The most common forms are chocolate with puffed rice for children, and almond or hazelnut chocolate turrón for adults. However, Mercadonas newest turrón variety has got the Christmas confection on everyone’s lips this year…and soon to be hips! The supermarket chain has reported that the cheesecake turrón continues to fly off the shelves, being currently sold out in many of their stores. 

So it seems a new tradition, or at least a twist on the old one, has been born here in Spain. With locals and tourists alike enjoying its familiar, festive flavours. Is turrón a staple sweet in your Christmas traditions, and will you be trying this surprising new style? 

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Written by

Jennifer Popplewell

Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.