Sugar, It’s Everywhere !

I knew I’d see gelato all over the place.  Trattorias and pizzerias left and right.  I was told about the carnival masks I’d be confronted with too, in every size and color.  And forget about “I love Venice” souvenirs – there’s no shortage of those either.  But I can’t believe no one ever told me about the omnipresence of… torrone !  That soft, chewy, white as snow confection, also known as nougat.  Yes, roughly 80% sugar and dotted with almonds, hazelnuts and/or pistachios.  It’s everywhere in Venice, and I could not have been more happy about that.  Not only nougat, but sugar in all different forms.  A true sweet tooth heaven.  Who knew?!

Sweets in Venice, ItalySweets in Venice, ItalySweets in Venice, ItalySweets in Venice, Italy

Meringues of all sizes, some as large as footballs.  Or little ones sandwiched together with chocolate, like the photo, top right.  And licorice.  But I don’t mean little licorice Nibs, thin Twizzlers, nor Haribo swirls.  We’re talking 93 centimeters (3 feet!) of black licorice rope.  Or foot long fruit licorice with a sugary fondant filling, “mega stuffed” as its Italian name says.   Better yet, neverending strands of fluffy marshmallow, for just one Euro.  Believe it or not, I saw this all over town.

Sweets in Venice, Italy

But back to that torrone… You’ll see it in neat, rectangular bars.  In slices as if cut from a big round of cheese.  In mounds, chunks and balls.  Rolled up with chocolate.  Sprinkled with candied fruits.  Mixed with coffee beans.  Available in every flavor you can imagine. And in just about every window you pass in your winding travels around Venice.  You’ll see it, front and center in the windows of pastry shops and candy stores, but also in those of bars and cafés.  The signs all showed the price to be around 3 or 4 Euros.  But beware – that’s for 100 grams.  And those slices of nougat can be heavy!  My first purchase (of many) brought me to the counter with 3 small slices, individually wrapped in plastic – plain, coffee and chocolate.  When it came to over 30 Euros, my eyes bolted out of their sockets.  Sticker shock when you expect to pay less than 10 for what amounts to… sugar.  Consider yourselves warned.

Sweets in Venice, ItalySweets in Venice, Italy

I am sorry I don’t have more photos of the nougat itself to share.  It’s a sticky business to eat, and would have wreaked havoc on my camera.  Furthermore, the last of my torrone (that brought my suitcase to a risky weight) is sadly all gone.  So you know what that means: time to grab the candy thermometer and start working on a recipe to make some torrone of my own!  I’ll let you know when I’ve got it just right!

12 Responses to “Sugar, It’s Everywhere !”

  1. Shaun says:

    I am enjoying these alot… keep em coming!

  2. jen laceda says:

    That’s ok, we forgive you about those missing photos! Your description has given us a pretty good image of those sticky, sweet, sugary goodies!

    I’m in Paris right now with the family! Of course, I’m taking your advice on those lovely deserts! I’m using your posts on Paris sweets to guide me around the best-est shops! Thanks, Kerrin!

  3. jen laceda says:

    My daughter had her first taste of Lenotre’s macarons yesterday…someone has a sweet tooth…

    Did I forget to tell you how lovely these photos are? The licorice are crazy!!!

  4. Lani says:

    The photos of the sugary candy pop right out.Just wandering the streets of Venice and putting your face up to the windows…. I can actually feel my teeth hurting already. My very favorite is nougat. I have no idea why but I do love that candy!!!! The nougat here in NY is not exactly the same thing but when in a jam it works.

  5. josephine says:

    after seeing your photos, i’ve decided that i need to visit venice again!

  6. Shaun says:

    Hi, I tried to send a mail but didnt work out. Thanks for the post on my blog. I am going to visit the museum in a couple of months and will wait as per your recommendation..

  7. Julia @ Mélanger says:

    Hi Kerrin, I don’t remember seeing all the nougat / sugar yums in Venice when I was there either. I must have been all consumed with the gelato. But these look amazing. I’m loving the look of the fruit licorice!

  8. airfare checker says:

    Delicious, delicious, delicious! When I bite a little piece of nougat in one Venice sweet shop it was like orgasm for my mouth!

  9. Solo Road Trip says:

    I’ll have one of each! Could all these sugar gems possibly be as tasty as your photographs are beautiful? Hmmmm….

  10. Lindsay says:

    The nougat with pistacchios brings back so many memories of when I was living in Lyon, France…

    I need to go back ASAP and stock up!

    So jealous 🙂
    Safe travels

  11. Mom says:

    When you came to New York a few months you gave me a box of nougat in green wrapping. Well, I saved it for a very “needy” moment! The other night was it….It was delicious. Actually it was extraordinary. The texture was soft but nutty. Saved my teeth from falling out. I truly loved it…thank you thank you…

  12. Hilda says:

    Torrone ice cream, mmm.
    You haven’t had Persian nougat, have you Kerrin? I’ll get some for you. Actually, I’m thinking that when I have you for the afternoon might be a good idea to take you to the Persian bakery here.
    And yes, most things have sticker shock attached to them in Italy. It’s incredibly strange and not surprising all at the same time.

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