National Nougat Day
annually on March 26th
Today, on National Nougat Day, we eat nougat and foods that contain it. Nougat is made with egg whites or another whipping agent, along with a sweetener like sugar or honey. In recent years, corn syrup has been used as a sweetener. The two ingredients are mixed together until they are aerated and stiff. Chocolate and dried fruit are often included in nougat.
Nougat originated in the Middle East around the eighth century but didn't rise in popularity until the seventeenth century in France. The word "nougat" comes from a French word which itself came from the Latin word for "nutbread." Nougat is viewed as a French treat and is also still commonly found in Middle Eastern desserts. It was put in early candy bars, which were served frozen, with the aim that it would resemble the taste and texture of ice cream. Nougat is commonly found in candy bars today. Milky Way, Baby Ruth, and 3 Musketeers have it, and Snickers includes ingredients that are similar to it.
There is white and brown nougat. White nougat commonly is made by combining honey, sugar, and nuts with beaten egg whites. Brown nougat has no eggs and has a base of honey or caramelized sugar, which makes it darker and more brittle than white nougat. German nougat is known as "Viennese Nougat" and is made of sugar, chocolate, and almonds. Turrón is the most popular nougat in Spain and can be made either hard or soft. The similarly-named torrone is found in Italy. It contains almonds and pistachios and is popular around Christmas. African nougat is usually made with fruits instead of nuts. Whether being eaten on its own or in a candy bar, whether it is white or brown, or whether it is a type common in Africa, Spain, Germany, Italy, or another part of the world, nougat is a delectable treat and we celebrate it today.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by eating nougat. You could make some, having it on its own or in brownies, cakes, or cookies. You could also eat it in candy bars by eating 3 Musketeers, Baby Ruth, and Milky Way bars.