Torrone, which is a popular holiday nut-filled nougat, was first introduced by the Arabs in the 11thcentury, invented by the Ancient Romans. The word torrone comes from the word “torrere” which comes from “tostare”, meaning toasted. It was first prepared in Cremona for the wedding of Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza in 1441. There are many stories and legends surrounding the birth of this Italian and Spanish sweet treat and just like many historical dishes, its origins have been lost in time and remain simply those passed down through Mediterranean peoples and cultures.
This dessert is generally hard in consistency, though it can be found in softer variants. It is typically long and rectangular in shape and it contains seasonal ingredients such as almond, hazelnuts and sometimes you can also find lemon, pistachios and even chocolate-covered nougat. This is a dessert that is served on Italian tables, particularly in November for All Saints Day and for the coming holiday periods.
It’s not easy to pair this sweet with wine, and not just any “classic” wine will do. You will need a wine which can sustain the sugar of this dish. The first choice for pairing is a Vinsanto, a full bodied, soft, warm wine with notes of balsamic tendency. It will clean the palate and invite you to have a second bite. Be warned of sugar overload.
Chocolate-covered Torrone, can easily be paired with a red wine which balances the chocolate flavors. A Barolo chinato is made from the bark of a cinchona tree which emits flavors such as rhubarb and gentian. These rich and opulent flavors need an equally full-bodied wine for pairing.
And if you opted for the lemon flavored torrone, you may find a bit more difficulty in pairing your wine. After all, wine and lemon have never a good match made. We recommend a drink along the lines of limoncello, where the sweetness compliments the sweetness and where the main ingredient in both is – lemon.