La Pasticceria Italian Soft Nougat (Strawberry) - Marshall's - Marlton, NJ
So I was at Marshall's wandering around in the hopes of finding some clearance jeans and, like always, I found myself in the gourmet foodie section. This specific Marshall's had just opened a month or so ago, and the place was completely ransacked! I guess they had an opening sale or something, because there was pretty slim pickings, but I managed to find a few foodie-gems to bring home and review. (Although no luck with the jeans. I just want skinny dark-wash jeans that cost less than my first born child.) Out of the two nougats I picked up I was most excited for the strawberry, so I'll be reviewing that one today and the Mascarpone will be up later next week.
On to the review!
The packaging obviously didn't draw me in, because there's very little packaging or design at all. Here we have a stick/slab of nougat inside a plastic heat-sealed bag with sticker-label. That's it. No bells and whistles, no Photoshopped images of the product, just a clear plastic bag showcasing the item for what it is with a tiny reminder of who made it and what it is. With a product this beautiful, I can't imagine packaging it any other way.
As far as a critique goes, I like the logo, but the stripes on the lower portion of the label seem unnecessary. They make the text harder to read and they aren't especially appealing, I would swap those stripes out for some faux-textured paper, or a faux-marble effect.
I peeled back the plastic, and the nougat smells like strawberry jam, honey and hazelnuts. It's so delicious that I wish I could bottle this and wear it as a perfume. (But I wont', because that's how you get ants.)
I took a bite, and this stuff is phenomenal! Oh man, it's so good that I actually feel overwhelmed and I don't know where to begin describing it. These last few months I've been experiencing a food rut. I eat food every day, and I try to post a review every day, but a lot of the reviews I've been writing up have been good, meh, or bad. I feel like it's been a long time since I've really gushed over a product, but this? This is gush-worthy.
Everything about this nougat perfectly suits my tastes, so it might not be a phenomenal product for all of you, but for me? This is the fruity nougat Holy Grail.
The white fluffy nougat has a super soft texture, almost as if this were freshly made, and it has a deliciously delicate honey flavoring. I had the opportunity to eat a piece of nougat fresh off the line in a small factory during my 2011 trip to Italy, and this brings me right back to that moment. It's soft and pliable in my hands, and feels light and airy. (Almost as if this were a little chunk of foam.) Mixed throughout are pieces of chopped almonds and hazelnuts. I like having nuts in my nougat for texture more than flavor, and I'm normally not a huge fan of nuts in any of my candies, but the rich almost buttery quality of these nuts works so well here that I don't mind them at all. The texture the crispy nuts provide is a wonderful contrast to the nougat, and when you mix that with the ribbons of strawberry puree and the dried strawberries on top, it's perfection! Imagine soft fresh nougat with a layer of intensely flavored strawberry jam and chopped nuts. That is what this bar is, and it's the best nougat I've ever had. (Sorry Italy.)
I don't know if I've ever mentioned this on my blog before, but strawberry is my go-to flavoring for just about everything. To protect my foodie journalistic integrity, I have to admit that I am a sucker for strawberry-anything. Maybe some of you will give this a try and you won't fly-off the handle and fall in love with it like I did, but I still think it's really good. I can't imagine anyone (who likes sweets) disliking this. I am so happy I bought this bar, and now I wish I had bought the other two on the shelf. If any of you love strawberry jams, jellies, or preserves, you have to try this stuff.
© Maria Smith http://poison-and-antidote.net
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