Many legends exist around the nougat’s origins, even if the city of Cremona, Lombardy, claims its invention. It seems that the first “Torrazzo” (from the name of the high bell tower of the city cathedral), the ancestor of the current torrone, was created in 1441 during the wedding banquet of Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza. But which are the most tasty Italian nougats? Here’s a short list.

Sperlari – Sperlari has been producing nougats and mostarde since 1836. Its most excellent product is the super classical nougat made with almonds and particularly tough, even if “mandorlato”, “tenero vanigliato” and chocolate versions are particularly appreciated. (Via Milano 16 - 26100 Cremona - Tel. 800-82900)

Garzotto Rocco & Figlio – The company produces a nut brittle nougat renowned all over the world. According to the legend, in 1900, the chemist Rocco Garzotto taking advantage of the trades of the near Venice, got the almonds from Ceglie dal Campo and the Zafferana Etnea honey with which he created a sweet with honey, albumens, sugar and almonds. It was the ancestor of the modern nougat. The recipe is remained unchanged, and today it is considered as one of the most tasty in Italy. (Via Pietro Mabil, 4 - 37044 Cologna Veneta - Tel. 0442 85162)

Davide Barbero – Davide Barbero has substituted the almonds with the tasty nuts of Piemonte, creating a unique product. His best product is the “Torronfette”, a crumbly nougat, particularly appreciated by children. (Via Brofferio 84 - 14100 Asti - Tel. +39 0141 594004)

Fratelli Nurzia – The first chocolate nougat was born in L’Aquila, Abruzzo, where the forefather of the Nurzia family grasps the potentiality of the uncommon combination. The company has historic workshops and an Art Nouveau style coffee shop in the city, where you can taste its specialities. (Piazza Duomo, 74-75 - 67100 L'Aquila - Tel. 0862.21002)

Caffè Sicilia – The nougat created by Corrado Assenza, a famous Sicilian patissier, is one of the best in Italy, even if the original recipe has been revisited according to the Sicilian tradition. The pasta is more soft and the ingredients are pistacchio, candied fruits and almonds from Noto, the typical ingredients of the Island. (Viale Sicilia, 12 - Ragusa - Tel. +39 0932 682160)