[Sca-cooks] Halvah marzipan or nougat?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Oct 21 15:17:02 PDT 2007

On Oct 21, 2007, at 5:57 PM, Suey wrote:

>     See Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 18, Issue 35 dated 21 Oct 07 for  
> input on
> this subject. I appreciate so much your comments so much.
>     Playing around with different versions of the spellings of  
> "halvah"
> I came across Stefan's candy-msg from 1998 when spelling it "halwa":
> http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-SWEETS/candy-msg.html
> which has a long discussion on this calling it a "candy"  - dag gone
> Stefan has an answer for everything - does that mean that Gitlitz  
> and I
> are wrong in our attempt to label this as a type of turron/nougat or
> marzipan? Don't forget I have this Spanish "ajonjoli, jonjoií, _turron
> de alegria_", Eng. sesame candy, which is obviously is translated as a
> type of nougat in Spanish and contains the same ingredients as some
> recipes for halvah.
>     Going back to the basics of turron, it was originally almonds  
> boiled
> in honey to coagulate which Perry calls /mu'aqqad. /Three recipes are
> found in _Anon Andalus_ which is online. From here we can see various
> versions with the addition or changes to other nuts and/or sesame  
> seeds,
> eggs and flour etc.
>     Now marzipan in Spanish is also called "turron blanco" (white
> nougats) consisting of ground almonds and syrup, sometimes eggs were
> added and that was or are some recipes flavored with rosewater or
> cinnamon and several variations found online. Nola has a few online
> thanks to Lady Brighid.
>     What is nursery rhyme called about the little black boy and the
> tigers running around the bush so fast that they become hummy  
> pancakes?

Butter or ghee. The pancakes came later. See Bannerman, Helen.

>  I think I just got there - except I have not melted my knowledge  
> enough
> to come out as clearly as crepes.
>     I wonder if Gitlitz and I are both right - I for calling halvah a
> type of nougat and he for calling it marzipan? Could I label  
> marzipan as
> a type of nougat? What do you think???

Considering where Europeans first got both almonds and sugar, it  
seems likely there are some cultural connections. However, I think  
one clear difference between the whole torrone/nougat/praline  
spectrum is that they are, as far as I know, always made with cooked  
sugar (yes?). Marzipan, unless you count the modern industrial  
product, generally is not a cooked product.

I suspect you can build a stronger case for a connection between  
torrone or nougat and some Middle Eastern or Indian original, which  
may or may not belong to the general family of hulwah-like dishes,  
than you can for torrone and marzipan being directly related.

It sounds like there's a little equivocation that may be occurring  
here that may not be fully supported by the facts as we know them...  
it might be easier to look for characteristics and clearly identify  
separate items before worrying about placing them into categories.

Adamantius (didn't we have this same discussion about hamburgers?)

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