With Christmas just around the corner we are thinking about our Catalan traditions, and of course what we will eat and drink during the festive period. One of the oldest traditions comes from the village of Agramunt, 1.5 hours west of Barcelona, near to the Serra del Bellmunt, a wild mountainous rural region. Agramunt is known for its excellent Torrons. Torrons, thought to come from the latin torrere (to toast) are a delicious Christmas dessert / sweet usually made in several varieties from nougat, almonds, marzipan, chocolate, eggs and honey. Some are brittle with toasted nuts and nougat others are soft and made from egg yolks and marzipan. They are crafted into substantial bars and given as gifts and bought for Christmas. Everyone has their own favourite and they are really something to look forward to!
The Catalan Torron tradition started in Agramunt, the Torronaires were the people who made them. Documents go back as far as the 17th century talking about their recipes, although it is thought that the tradition started significantly before any documents were created. The Torronaires started by toasting almonds two days before making the actual Torron, then they would boil honey stirring it constantly with a wooden plank to stop it burning. The honey would turn a dark shade and they would add two dozen whipped egg whites to lighten it. Once the chief Torronaire thought it was ready they would gradually add the toasted almonds, stirring constantly until the mixture thickened. They would leave it to cool and set before cutting it, the Torron would then be packed into sealed wooden boxes ready for selling.
Today Agramunt’s traditions live on with vigor! One of the oldest brands is Torrons Roig whose company roots started in 1775. The annual Torron festival grows year on year and is a celebration of Agramunt’s torron traditions.
We have our Torrons in stock directly from our friends at Torrons Roig, they are utterly delicious so drop in and pick one up before they all go!
(they are rather nice with a glass of dessert wine too)