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For this almond torrone - or torrone in Italian - chef Corrado Assenza uses only Noto almonds, prized the world over for their incredibly intense almond flavor. Caffe’ Sicilia’s almond nougat is the perfect sweet for almond lovers, and an incredible example of the historic Sicilian torrone tradition. Unlike the torrone from northern Italy, which is very hard, Sicilian torrone is incredibly soft and creamy. Just slice into a bar of Caffe’ Sicilia torrone and you’ll see that it is packed with almonds. Caffe’ Sicilia torrone is a delicious sweet treat that has a deep, full flavor because it is sweetened mostly with honey from the Iblei mountains, which complements the rich taste of crunchy almonds.  

Torrone is an ancient tradition in Sicilia, brought there during the Arab domination in the medieval period. According to Corrado, this Arab influence persists in the use of honey rather than sugar as the principal sweetener in Torrone di Mandorle di Noto. Corrado uses the same tools his family has been using for more than a century, including the same marble worktable, which he says helps cool the torrone, and is one of the secrets to his exceptional production.

Caffè Sicilia is a pastry shop founded in 1892 on the main street of Noto, a picturesque baroque town perched on a hill southwest of Siracusa. Carlo and Corrado Assenza are now the fourth generation in their family to run the shop, with an intense passion for the flavors and traditions of their region. Corrado is considered a pioneer among Italian chefs; educated in chemistry and biology, he brings the precision of scientific research to his recipes, drawing his inspiration from the grand tradition of Sicilian pasticceria to devise awe-inspiring new flavor combinations. He insists on using the best ingredients he can find from local farms for his line of marmalades, nuts and sweets, all produced by hand in the shop’s kitchen.

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