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Good "turrón" in the North End?

Alcachofa Feb 14, 2007 11:48 AM

I am using the spanish name for an almond-based hard sweet... candy? I'm not sure quite how to classify it. It's crunchy. I've had it in rectangular block form.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure there is an italian version. If anyone knows what the heck I'm talking about, and is familiar with good examples available in the North End, please share! Thanks.

(This is to buy from a store/bakery, not to eat in a cafe or restaurant.)

  1. yumyum Feb 14, 2007 11:51 AM

    It's called Torroni in Italian and Modern is the place to buy it. Also can find it at Dairy Fresh Candies.

    1. Bob Dobalina Feb 14, 2007 12:28 PM

      I've also seen it spelled Torrone.

      1. yumyum Feb 14, 2007 12:34 PM

        Bob, I think you are right. Torrone is the correct spelling.

        1. Alcachofa Feb 14, 2007 12:45 PM

          Now that I see it written, I do recall seeing "Torrone". Thanks, y'all.

          Where is Dairy Fresh Candies?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Alcachofa
            Northender Feb 14, 2007 12:49 PM

            On Salem Street just off of Cross Street (next to Neptune Oysters)

            1. re: Alcachofa
              yumyum Feb 14, 2007 12:58 PM

              Woah, alca ... you've walked past it a gazillion times, I'm sure. I find it creepy that I know where a candy store is before YOU do.....

              1. re: Alcachofa
                ChefJune Feb 16, 2007 06:13 AM

                Dairy Fresh is the place to go for many sweet and savory items, but Modern Pastry is THE place for Torrone! In fact, it's so good that even Italians take it back to Italy with them.

              2. Alcachofa Feb 14, 2007 01:02 PM

                I don't really have a big sweet tooth. :-[

                Across from Neptune's... how convenient. ;-)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Alcachofa
                  yumyum Feb 14, 2007 01:04 PM

                  Actually, next door, way too convenient! I buy Christmas candies and fresh nuts at Dairy Fresh, but I still think the Torrone at Modern is better.

                2. galleygirl Feb 14, 2007 03:42 PM

                  I think Modern makes their own, as well as a chocolate covered version. I also think Mike's Pastry makes their own, in several different flavors.

                  1. limster Feb 14, 2007 03:55 PM

                    Napoli Pastry imports a few types from Italy. Pretty good. Might be worth checking out Dairy Fresh Candies and Salumeria Italiana.

                    1. p
                      phatchris Feb 14, 2007 05:18 PM

                      The espresso dipped ones at Modern are the best.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: phatchris
                        Alcachofa Feb 15, 2007 05:16 AM

                        Espresso dipped?! :-O My father will go bananas for that (he basically has an espresso I.V.)

                        Thanks again, everyone.

                      2. f
                        fragolino Feb 14, 2007 05:26 PM

                        I'm surprised that noone's mentioned Maria's yet. Like the other places, she makes her own and it's just as good if not better.

                        1. f
                          fenian Feb 14, 2007 06:06 PM

                          I haven't tasted one anywhere else, but the torrone I had at Modern was ridiculously good.

                          1. Alcachofa Feb 15, 2007 09:29 AM

                            Is Torrone out of season? Not much selection anywhere.

                            Modern only had the blue box kind (Ferrara), which is flavored with lemon and orange. The woman behind the counter said that was the only kind they had. Dairy Fresh the same--only Ferrara. Monica's Mercado had a pure version, Aquilotto, but only that. Polcari's coffee (corner of Salem and Parmenter) actually had the best selection: Ferrara, Aquilotto, and another softer version that I decided against.

                            I spoke with the Polcari dude about espresso soaked torrone (it is a coffee shop after all). He had never heard of such a thing, but is going to look into it.

                            Oh, yeah, Napoli Pastry had a selection, but individual sizes only. No bigger boxes.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Alcachofa
                              ChefJune Feb 16, 2007 06:16 AM

                              Modern makes it fresh and has it on a very regular basis. You need to ask when Sarah will be making it again... unless she's on vacation, and then I would imagine the staff would do it. They have it year-round.

                              FWIW, I have never had anything worth bragging about from Mike's pastry shop. In fact, the only chocolate cake I ever spit out in my life came from there. They're all hype, in my book.

                              Maria's makes some awesome items, (esp. the chocolate cookies and her marzipan) but no one's Torrone comes close to Modern's.

                              1. re: Alcachofa
                                Bob Dobalina Feb 16, 2007 11:08 AM

                                I've also only had torrone around Christmas.

                              2. e
                                esmom Feb 15, 2007 12:21 PM

                                I think in Spain the season used to be Christmastime but now more widely available. If Spanish will do, you could also go to Capone's. They carry a few different types of Spanish turron including the soft kind which is an almond version of halva. It is quite delicious.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: esmom
                                  Alcachofa Feb 15, 2007 01:10 PM

                                  Spanish would be preferable. Where is Capone's?

                                  1. re: Alcachofa
                                    yumyum Feb 16, 2007 07:39 AM

                                    Capone's is in Union Square, Somerville. Not T-accessible, I'm afraid, but you could make a field trip of it and have lunch or dinner at Taqueria La Mexicana or Machu Picchu while you're there. (Or you could contact one of your favorite hounds and ask them to pick some up for you since it's right in their neighborhood.)

                                    1. re: yumyum
                                      Allstonian Feb 16, 2007 08:53 AM

                                      Well, not accessible by streetcar or train, but entirely T accessible by bus. There are five different routes that go through Union Square. However, it is indeed enough of a schlep that you should probably make an outing of it if you're heading to Capone's.

                                2. StriperGuy Feb 16, 2007 06:03 AM

                                  Just FYI all. Though they contain similar ingredients Spanish Torrone and Italian Torroni are mostly very different.

                                  Both are technically nougat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nougat

                                  There are about 8 different basic varieties of Spanish Torrone and most tend to rely largely on ground almonds (either toasted or not) sugar and honey with very little egg white. The most classic Spanish version is mostly toasted almonds and sugar/honey. It is very nutty and reminds me of halvah in terms of it's density/richness.

                                  The classic italian torroni is a white, much more eggwhite-based nougat. Lots of fluffy, chewy eggwhite honey nougat with chunks of almonds imbedded, not incorporated. To complicate matters there is a similar product in Spain, but it is not the most common.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: StriperGuy
                                    Alcachofa Feb 16, 2007 03:48 PM

                                    Oh, crap!

                                  2. StriperGuy Feb 16, 2007 04:02 PM

                                    www.tienda.com has very good Spanish torrone.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: StriperGuy
                                      Alcachofa Feb 16, 2007 04:08 PM

                                      Well, hopefully my father will like the Italian kind as a change of pace. It is too late for me to head up to Capone's or anywhere else.

                                      Just checked out that site. Nice handsome looking guava paste in the upper right pic. Also, that hot chocolate rules! (I've had it.)

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