In an earlier post, I wrote about the open-air market along the Aura River in Turku. Today I’ll share just a little more about one of the vendors I visited.
Heading from the medieval cathedral in Turku’s ‘downtown’ area, the first vendor that greeted me in mid-June was a sweet shop. When I first spotted the shop, I actually Thought that the array of coloured shapes in the display case were soaps; the display looked a lot like the displays at LUSH cosmetics. In fact, the goodies behind glass were nougat candy, waiting for a customer to select a variety and quantity to be filled by the clerk behind the counter.
There were all sorts of different colours and shapes. Domes of chocolate brown beside other domes colored green for the pistachios within sat alongside spirals of shiny yellow, cakes covered in nuts, and bricks of confection, sliced to reveal the trifle-like layers of red, green, yellow, and white within.
Along with the nougat, the shop had a wide variety of other treats, including chocolate goodies( like a moulded shoe and cell phone – Nokia I presume) and pastries. Looking through the case trying to pick just one flavor, the clerk came by, said hello in Finnish, and when we answered “hello” instead of the expected “hei”, he effortlessly switched to English, asking if we would like a sample.
He offered us first a nutty nougat, then a sharp, tangy lemon which I was keen on. I checked with my companion, and before getting a yes or no on the lemon, a softer peanut treat was presented…. I liked it so much that I made up my mind without input and ordered a small slice.
The clerk weighed the candy, and rang it in at 12€, a bit pricy, but certainly it was delicious!
The full slice was a peanut butter/ chocolate combination with finely chopped peanuts mixed throughout. It was the consistency of fudge, which I didn’t expect. I’m used to the nougat like in a Toblerone candy bar- hard like a nut- but nougat just refers to a nut-based candy, it can be any consistency apparently.
Of course, it was delicious- but like one of the other goodies we enjoyed (a candied/dried lemon) a bit sticky!
I’ve never had any luck with candy-making (I don’t even own a candy thermometer) but if you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen, check out these bloggers and their recipes for nougat…
- Nougatt has a recipe for Italian nougat using marshmallow fluff!
- Ox Food Blog has a recipe for pistachio nougat
- and Chocswirl made up nougat for her father – and has shared LOADS of wonderful photographs showing each stage of the recipe.
Each of the nougat recipes above seem to make the hard, firm nougat that I’m more familiar with… so if you know a recipe for the soft, fudgy-like nougat I tried in Turku (especially one that doesn’t need a candy thermometer or lots of candy-making experience!) please share in the comments below!
I thought I’d also share with you some photos from around Turku… I’ll have more to share with you in future posts as well, so you can see more of my travels and this lovely city. Above are some neat sculptures along the Aura River. They look like clouds to me… and of course inspired some goofy portrait photos as well! There was a lovely amount of public art in Turku, including a sculpture park we drove by (but ran out of time to visit – next time!).
For the travelling foodies, (and another for my ‘when I return’ list) you might want to try one of the many river boat restaurants. I saw these in both Turku and Helsinki, but never did get the chance to visit.
Stay tuned for more posts from my travels to Finland!
(Interested in learning more about Turku? Visit the Turku Information office!)