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nougatine de Saint Didier, Vaucluse, France

Nougatine (caramelized sugar binding together thin slices of almonds, peanuts or other nuts) was invented in Nevers in the 1850s by the confiseur Louis-Jules Bourumeau.

Legend has it that shortly after nougatine was invented, the Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, was in Nevers on an official visit when she was offered ‘une spécialité dans l’ordre de la gourmandise’ that she loved. It quickly became a hit among her ladies-in-waiting, before catching on all across Paris.

nougatines de Nevers

In 2007, the boutique Fontenay revived the old tradition and now sells six tonnes of handmade nougatines de Nevers, in the form of little bonbons wrapped in a hard candy coating.

Sweet stuff

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by nougatines-nevers, Véronique PAGNIER