We always support the underdog at National Today and this time on National Nougat Day on March 26, we are cheering for this often-overlooked candy. Whether you like your sweets soft, smooth, crunchy, fluffy, or a combination of all those, the iconic nougat has got your back, fam. The classic dessert is made with whipped egg whites, sweet honey, and roasted nuts. This version of the white nougat is the most common one out there. Other forms also include brown, black, and beige — each varying due to cultural differences. This sweet treat has an interesting history. You may have eaten a chocolate bar that is filled with nougat a hundred times, but did you know that the original purpose of putting nougat inside a chocolate bar was to create an illusionary ice-cream effect? Now that’s neat and sweet!
History of National Nougat Day
Illusionary effects and magical journeys are part of nougat’s history. While today it is enjoyed all over the world with each region adding its unique flavors to it, there are many disputes as to where exactly it originated from.
Some historical scholars claim that the first recorded instance of nougat being consumed was in the Middle East during the 10th century. Iraq, Syria, and Turkey have several centuries-old manuscripts that point to their existence. On the other hand, historians also have recorded evidence of nougat existing in the first century in Rome. Another fascinating story of nougat’s origins points to a chef inventing the recipe on the spot in honor of a wedding couple.
As globalization increased over the centuries, the humble nougat traveled from the Middle East to Europe, and then to the rest of the world, gaining popularity as it did so. Before it became common amongst the masses, nougat was considered a luxury, only being eaten at special occasions like weddings, birthdays, Christmas, etc. During WW2, it was also rationed among soldiers to give them a morale boost.
The word ‘nougat’ originates from the French dialect Occitan and it means ‘nut bread’ or ‘nut cake,’ which is interesting because it does not have any key ingredients that make a bread except for eggs, and that too only egg whites. With all these wonderful reasons at its core, National Nougat Day has a special place in many people’s hearts, and it’s not just because of its delicious taste.
National Nougat Day timeline
The Romans invent nougat as a way of honoring their gods and enriching their cultural heritage.
Nougat starts gaining popularity as different people from different cultures start incorporating it into their food items.
A hard-candy-making machine is displayed at the Great Exhibition in London for all to see.
The 3 Musketeers chocolate bar becomes one of the first major commercial brands to have nougat inside it.
National Nougat Day FAQs
What’s a vegan substitute for egg whites in nougats?
You can substitute the egg whites with either corn syrup or chickpea brine water found in chickpea cans.
Do nougats go bad?
Yep, sadly, nougats too can go bad. It’s recommended to consume a batch of home-made nougat within a month. As far as store-bought nougats go, their expiry dates vary according to the brand, so be sure to check on the individual packaging for the best advice.
How do I store nougat?
You should keep it in an air-tight container to maintain freshness. It should also be refrigerated.
National Nougat Day Activities
Eat a nougat au-naturel
To appreciate a nougat in all its glory and flavors, consume the sweet without any add-ons. You will be able to relish the sweetness that will be accompanied by legendary tales about it.
Visit a local candy store
The inner child in us always squeals with delight and excitement when the smells of sugar, caramel, and nuts hang heavy in the air. Lined with varieties of sweets that are an equal delight to the eyes as they are to the stomach, these stores take us on a nostalgic adventure of our childhoods.
Try other varieties of nougat
Why limit yourself to just one kind of nougat when you can have other versions too? Of course, after following our first suggestion, you can dive deep into other nougat flavors. Our personal favorite is the Italian nougat called, Torrone or Turron, and it is scented with honey or citrus fruits.
5 Facts About Egg Whites That Will Blow Your Mind
Egg whites are more nutritious than yolks
Egg whites are 90% water and 10% protein, and this is a drastic difference in nutrition as compared to yolks that are full of cholesterol.
Egg whites are for your health
Containing about 54 g potassium, which is an essential electrolyte for your neuron-, bone-, and cell functioning, egg whites are the ultimate energy health bombs.
Egg whites are heart-healthy
Recent studies have shown that consuming egg whites can help reduce the risk of developing hypertension.
Egg whites for hair treatment
While there is no scientific backing to this claim, many age-old remedies point to egg whites being beneficial for hair growth and shine.
Secure future with egg whites
Eating egg whites, which contain riboflavin (vitamin B12), can help prevent age-related diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration.
Why We Love National Nougat Day
It’s a celebration of a versatile sweet treat
Be it nougat with chocolate or nuts and raisins, coffee, or even wine, it’s still a delicious treat that satisfies the senses with its various textures. Nougat’s versatility means you can add your preferences to it and still have it turn out great.
It’s a celebration of cultural similarities
Historians have debated endlessly about the true origins of nougat as it has popped up in several regions in the world over the centuries. What is interesting is that there is little to no chance for these regions to have had any contact with outsiders as travel was scarce due to its dangers and lengths in the old times. Yet despite these geographical distances, nougat’s importance in many cultures shows how similar humans can be at the core.
It’s a celebration for our sweet tooth
It is a truth universally acknowledged that humans have a separate stomach to store all sweet treats/desserts. No matter how full you may be, there’s always room for dessert and, in this case, there’s always room for nougat.
National Nougat Day dates