Torrone Heaven

December 19, 2012 / Food & Wine
Giarratana, Sicilia

While some people get stressed shopping for Christmas gifts, others prefer to go to torrone heaven.

Torronificio Trapani Giuseppe TrapaniTucked away in the small town of Giarratana, Sicily, you’ll find the Torronificio Trapani, which has been turning out handmade torrone for 4 generations using local honey that carries the scent of lemon blossoms, and the most prized varieties of almonds from Sicily’s Val di Noto.

During the torrone high season from October through December, the Torronificio Trapani makes 140 kilos of torrone a day, which requires that owner Giuseppe Trapani get to work at 4.00 a.m. in order to produce two batches, which are shipped out all over Italy that same afternoon.  Some is kept aside for enthusiastic local customers.

Torronificio Trapani’s specialty is torrone bianco, a soft white nougat sweetened with honey and chock full of toasted almonds – their torrone contains nearly 70% almonds as compared to about 35% in commercial torrone.

Torronificio Trapani A secret family recipe containing egg whites and honey is slowly heated and stirred in a huge bowl and carefully watched over by Giuseppe until it is “just right.”  Then the warm torrone mixture is flattened by hand and flipped into a mold that has been lined with edible wafer.

Giuseppe energetically rolls a huge rolling pin over the torrone’s surface, smoothing it into an even layer.

Once cooled, it will be cut into bars and wrapped, or cut into smaller rectangles called torroncini that are coated in dark chocolate.

Most people who purchase torroncini never make it back to their cars before unwrapping one and biting into it.  The dark chocolate coating is paper thin, just barely beginning to melt against anxious fingers. And inside, oh my.  It’s packed with crunchy almonds, toasted to perfection, with just the right amount of creamy filling holding it all together in a sweet embrace.  Torrone heaven.

(Via del Mercato, 66, 97010 Giarratana, Province of Ragusa, Tel. +39 0932 975014)

Anita Iaconangelo

by Anita Iaconangelo

An expert on walking and culinary tours in many areas of Italy, with a special focus on Sicily, Anita Iaconangelo is the founder of Italian Connection Tours and author of the blog Anita’s Italy. She is currently at work on a book entitled Savoring Sicily: A Culinary Quest. 

13 Responses to “Torrone Heaven”

  1. Teresa Riker

    Can you ship those to america I would love to order some from you if I could to try? I never had it before. They look so good.

    Reply
    • Anita

      Teresa- I am not sure that Giuseppe ships to America, and since I am leaving for vacation I can’t do it for you. However, Giuseppe does make torrone all year long, so we can always make arrangements at another time. My sweet tooth says any season is torrone season!

      Reply
  2. As far as I have been able to judge, torrone seems to come as both soft and hard? I love the hard type, and would interested to know which kind this is. In any case it sounds heavenly.

    Reply
    • Anita

      Jette – In Sicily, torrone seems to come in “bianco” which is soft, and “abbrustolito” which is hard and crunchy but differnt than what you may know as torrone as it is like a bar of caramelized almonds (which many people also make at home.) If you are looking for the hard bianco torrone, I have yet to find it here, and most soft bianco is too sweet for my taste- that’s why I love Giuseppe Trapani’s Torrone- it is packed with toasted almonds and just the right amount of sweet white nougat.

      Reply
  3. Anne Robichaud

    A heavenly note!
    Scrumptious, too, Anita. Many thanks / and your note brought back memories of no. Sardinia trips many years ago…where often torrone-making was done in a big drum in someone’s yard..and could be bought there.

    Mille grazie

    Reply
    • Anita

      Thanks Anne! Many people in Sicily make “torrone abbrustolito” at home – it is like a bar of caramelized almonds. The torrone bianco is much trickier to make and takes hours. I’ve never tried to make the bianco type what with Giuseppe being just 15 km away…

      Reply
  4. Do they ship overseas; to US perhaps? I would love to get some for my mother during this holiday season.

    Reply
  5. Marcia Bailey

    My Italian/American mother made certain that we had torrone at Christmas even in Kansas. My mouth is watering!!

    Reply
  6. JAmes S. Puliti

    Wonderful, just thinking of the tasting as described. would say Heavenly. Thanks for the article as describing the work by the artisans. Gazia tante.

    Reply
  7. Nicholas Venice

    We have visited a small shop in Boiano, Molise that makes Torone that are very good .thanks for your very good websight BUON NATALE.

    Reply
  8. Anita…thank you for this post…oh, it brings back “sweet” memories of delicious…yes, heavenly torrone in those little sample the exquisite torrone (and marzipan and cannolis…and and and…)once more. Buon natale!

    Reply

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