Turrónes at Christmastime

As a Cuban-American, every year my family and I look forward to Noche Buena, Christmas Eve.  I have the best memories of Noche Buena growing up. While I love my American traditions, there are things that are unique to my Cuban culture, of which I am very proud of.  You see, many Latin families make a bigger deal sometimes about Noche Buena than Christmas Day. On Noche Buena, we gather our huge families, while enjoying our traditional recipes and celebrate the holiday. However, we never want to overlook the importance of Christmas Day, so of course we meet again on the 25th after attending mass, to open gifts, celebrate the birth of Jesus and of course, eat the leftovers from the previous evening. Noche Buena meals consist of some very important staples, such as, lechon asado (roast pork), rice and beans, yuca and fried plantains. After dinner, we all drink my aunt’s Creme de Vie, a sweet Cuban version of egg nog, (I would give you the recipe but then I would have to kill you…as our family’s recipe has a secret ingredient that I have not seen in any other recipe I have come across. But here’s a similar one). And last but certainly not least, comes dessert, where some eat flan, but most eat turrónes (Pronounced TOO-RON-EHS).  What are turrónes you say? Turrón is a nougat confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake. Growing up I remember the simple ones made of almonds, nuts and egg yolk (my hubby’s favorite, yema), but nowadays there are many more varieties, from chocolate coated to fruit filled.

My turron selections on Christmas Eve

My turrón selections on Christmas Eve, accompanied by cheese and guava paste slices.

Guava paste slices, cheese and a selection of turrónes, all musts for a Cuban Christmas.

Here are my family’s favorite turrónes for the holidays!

Some of our favorites.

Some of our favorites.

Have you ever tried turrón? If you have, I would love to know which one you liked most…

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42 thoughts on “Turrónes at Christmastime

  1. I’ve never had turrones before, but I think I’ve had something similar. They look delicious. My family gets together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, we have soup, sandwiches and party foods.

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  2. Todo eso es cierto la costumbre cubana de noche buena es el lechon asado arroz blanco frijoles negros yuca hervida con mojo (limon ajo y cebolla caliente puesto arriba despues de que la yuca esta hecha) y ensalada de tomate lechuga y rabanos el poste turrones de yema , masapan con fruta, jijona que es requisimo con queso amarillo y algunos mas depende del gusto de cada familia y el 25 de Dec. es algo parecido Feliz Navidad para todos

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  3. I’ve never had turrones before, nor seen any before to be totally honest with you. They look like they would be delicious! Normally Christmas Eve we order pizza and watch movies trying to keep the kids a sleep as long as possible. This year will be a little harder if you ask me….

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  4. I have never tried Turrone before! We are going to a Christmas celebration with our Latino friends on Christmas Day though so hopefully I will get to try them! They always have so many great foods I have never tried.

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  5. I have never seen or heard of any of these before. They all look so good though, I would love to give them a try. I love trying new things around Christimas time!

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  6. I have never tried Turron before but I would love to try any variety. They sound amazing. When we were younger our whole family would gather at my grandmother’s house Christmas Eve. It was always my favorite day during the holidays. I come from an Italian family so we all filled every room in the house. It was so festive. Thanks for sharing your traditions.

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