Several years ago, Caroline and Didier’s son Thomas embarked on an adventure « Terre et Abeilles (Land and Bees) »: 20 hectares of almond groves and 40 beehives between Rochemaure and Montélimar. This is how it came about …
Traditionally-made Montélimar Nougat
The manufacture of Montélimar nougat remains shrouded in mystery
Why is it white ? And what about dark nougat ? Where did it come from ? How can a product which looks so simple have so many different flavours and textures ?
Nougat was originally made in Asia Minor and brought to Marseille by the Greeks. Over time the home-made sweetmeat travelled up the River Rhone to Montélimar where it attracted the attention of pastry chefs who replaced the walnuts with almonds and added egg white.
Arnaud Soubeyran have been making Montélimar nougat in the same age-old way for almost 200 years, cooking it in copper cauldrons over a bain-marie and using top-quality ingredients. This gives soft nougat its supple texture, hard nougat its crisp firmness and both of them a wide palette of fragrant flavours when eaten.
The main ingredients
Lavender honey for its aftertaste and blossom honey for its floral notes are both produced in our lovely region.
Strongly-flavoured Mediterranean almonds and brightly-coloured pistachios.
Egg white to ensure a supple texture and shiny white colour.
Sugar and glucose syrup whose cooking determines the softness of the nougat.
… using a bain-marie enables gradual evaporation of humidity while retaining the flavour of the honey.
Stiffly-beaten egg whites are added to the slowly cooked honey, followed by sugar syrup, pre-cooked on the range, and lightly-roasted, blanched almonds.
The mixture is spread into trays lined with rice paper.
After cooking, the nougat is turned out and cut into bars, sticks, dominoes or cubes.