If you are travelling around Catalonia at Christmas and happen to visit a grocery shop or supermarket, you’ll probably have to work your way around several tables at the entrance displaying traditional Christmas sweets. The shiny golden wrappers will inevitably draw you towards the delicious-looking chocolates or a raisin panettone with a reassuring Italian flag on the package. However, if you have a closer look, you will notice that all these products, some of them newcomers from other countries, surround the true star of the Catalan and Spanish Christmas table – the unfairly lesser-known torrons: traditional sweets made with almonds, honey and egg.
When families get together during Christmas, no meal is complete without torrons. Even after you’ve eaten a huge amount of food and even had dessert, you can always say yes to a small portion of your favourite torró (turrón in Spanish, torrons in plural). Though the origin of the torró is unknown, we know the tradition, according to historical documents and Catalan literary works, dates back to the thirteenth century. In Catalonia, torrons usually go hand in hand with neules, which are crunchy and very light rolled up biscuits that can be dipped in a glass of local cava or any sweet liquor.