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April 03, 2023 5 min read

October might seem like a typical month everywhere else in the world, in most countries it’s mostly known for Halloween. But especially in Peru, this month comes with a religious tint and a delicious taste enjoyed for many, many generations now.

October is the month were the Procession of the Lord of Miracles is held in many parts of the world. This festivity involves seeing a lot of purple on the streets, a strong smell of incense, religious ceremonies dedicated to this saint-like figure  and of course people eatingPeruvian turron everywhere. 

If you’re just getting to knowPeruvian turron, you curious about this amazing dessert, it’s ingredients, how it was first prepared and how to enjoy it keep reading this article. 

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What is Peruvian turron?

Peruvian turron is actually a tropicalization of a Spanish snack called nougat, or alba nougat. This Spanish nougat consists of a dough made from almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts mixed with honey and sugar.

As for the Peruvian version of this dessert, it is made with wheat flour, butter, egg, milk and grained anise. This dough is slowly baked in long and thin layers. 

Once the strokes or layers are cooked they are placed in a pile like Jenga pieces. After that the snack is bathed in brown sugar syrup, or “miel de chancaca”.

This type of honey syrup is an important African contribution to Peruvian gastronomy, because it basically sets the characteristic flavour of the turron. Miel de chancaca is prepared not only with sugar cane but also with other ingredients such as pineapple, orange, quince, cinnamon and clove. 

To wrap upPeruvian turron, the dessert is decorated and sprinkled with several types of candy. Among these candies we find colored hard candies, toffee balls, sugar sticks, little assorted figurines like stars, hearts, moons, etc and pieces of fig in syrup. 

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The story behind Peruvian turron 

The actual full name ofPeruvian turron is actually “turrón de Doña Pepa”, and some people claim in the nineteenth Century it was also referred to as “turron de miel” or “turrón del Señor de los Milagros” 

There are different theories or popular stories that tell the beginning ofPeruvian turron. The first one and possibly the most known one is about Josefa Marmanillo, a slave in the eighteenth Century who had great culinary abilities but began suffering from paralysis in her arms.

Looking for a miracle from Christ Pachacamilla, she made a pilgrimage to Lima, where her devotion helped her recover. As a thank you she prepared the delicious turron to parishioners all the way to The Lord of Miracles; finally becoming known as “turrones de Doña Pepa”. 

A second version ofPeruvian turron and its origins speaks of a contest held by a viceroy. This viceroy enjoyed sweets and wanted to find a snack that would last for days without losing its flavor. Doña Pepa entered the contest and of course won thanks to her turron dessert. 

It doesn’t matter which version is true, bottom line is Peruvian turron is heavily associated with El Señor de los Milagros (Lord of Miracles) and it’s religious festivities held in October. For the past decades this dessert has been spread throughout this month and it makes people count the days to taste it again.  

How to enjoy this dessert

Peruvian turron is, without a doubt, the most emblematic dessert of October (also known as the purple month in Peru). But ever since the days when people eagerly awaited for the festivities to arrive to get a taste of the delicious turron de Doña Pepa, this dessert has spread to many places and eaten at any time of the year.

And if you consider yourself a total sweet tooth you can accompanyPeruvian turron with other sweets such as Arroz con Leche, Mazamorra morada and deliciousPicarones.

If you’re having sweet cravings and want to enjoy a delicious bite of this dessert, you can getPeruvian turron in different sizeshere. It’s always best when you have them with a glass of cold milk, a cup of coffee or even over some tea with friends. It doesn’t matter how you eat it, we guarantee one bite won’t be enough!

Different types of Peruvian turron, including hard and soft varieties.

Peruvian turron is a versatile and delicious treat that comes in various varieties. Here are some of the most popular types of Peruvian turron, along with their unique characteristics:

  • Hard turron (turron duro): This is the traditional type of turron, made with almonds, honey, and egg whites. It is cooked until it hardens into a brittle, candy-like texture that can be broken into pieces and enjoyed as a snack.
  • Soft turron (turron blando): This variety of turron is made with similar ingredients as hard turron but is cooked for a shorter time to create a softer, chewy texture. It is often flavored with vanilla or cinnamon and may contain additional ingredients like dried fruit or chocolate.
  • Mixed turron (turron de mezcla): This type of turron combines both hard and soft varieties, creating a unique texture that is crunchy and chewy. It often contains nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, dried fruit, and chocolate.
  • Pecan turron (turron de pecanas): This regional variation of Peruvian turron is popular in the northern part of the country, where pecans are grown. It is made with pecans, honey, and egg whites and has a rich, nutty flavor.
  • Peanut turron (turron de mani): This variety of turron is made with peanuts instead of almonds and is popular in the coastal regions of Peru. It has a very crunchy texture and a slightly sweet flavor reminiscent of peanut butter.

Peruvian turron is often sweeter and more complex in flavor compared to other types of turron from Spain or other Latin American countries. It may contain additional ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon, or dried fruit, not typically found in Spanish turron. Additionally, Peruvian turron often incorporates local ingredients like pecans or peanuts, giving it a unique regional flavor not found in other types of turron.

In conclusion, Peruvian turron is a delicious and versatile treat in wide varieties. Whether you prefer hard or soft turron or enjoy the regional flavors of pecans or peanuts, there is a type of Peruvian turron to suit every taste. So why not make or taste some this October and celebrate the rich culture and history of Peru?

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