No Chupa Chups strawberry flavor for Jijona’s turron

by admin
Turron Jijona

JIJONA – Jijona is the birthplace of the traditional Spanish Christmas delicacy turron. The traditional preparation method dates back to more than 450 years ago. Therefore, it is fiercely defended by the Quality Mark Supervisory Board (IGP).

Defended? But against what, you may wonder. However, the council must regularly take action against the introduction of new flavors that, in their view, completely miss the mark. As was recently the case with a Chupa Chups strawberry and cream flavor. Chupa Chups are the equally well-known Spanish lollipops. According to Secretary General Federico Moncunill, such new flavors are just “whims for uninformed tourists” and deviate from the original ingredients: almonds, egg white, honey and sugar.

An age-old tradition and recipe

The economy of Jijona (Alicante), with just under 7,000 inhabitants, largely revolves around the production of turron and ice cream. There are no fewer than 26 turron factories in the town. The traditional turron of Jijona and Alicante reaches Spanish households as a “natural phenomenon”. “The almond trees bloom in February and the almonds are harvested in September. Production starts in October and sales start in November,” Moncunill explains.

Every year, approximately 10 million kilos of almonds are converted into 82 million tablets of turron, of which 85% are consumed during the Christmas period. Of those 82 million bars, 22 million are protected products. The remaining 60 million are “bakery products” that add ingredients such as chocolate or egg yolk. The product from Alicante contains a thin wafer, while the turron from Jijona is subjected to a process of pressing, heating and emulsification.

Expansion and innovation

In addition to preserving tradition, the regulatory board also works to promote and expand sales of their products throughout the year. “We are trying to make turron sales less seasonal in two ways,” says Moncunill. First, by major manufacturers opening turron stores across the country. For example, El Lobo-1880 has opened 14 branches this year, including two in Madrid, one of which also functions as a museum.

The second approach is to approve “certification applications” for products that contain turron from Jijona or Alicante as an ingredient, such as yogurt, ice cream and other foods of different brands and sold in different supermarkets.

Fight against fraud

The IGP has also joined the collaboration established by all National Designations of Origin with the Guardia Civil to combat fraud. “Thanks to this agreement, we have saved a lot of time,” Moncunill emphasizes. Complaints to the authorities, in the case of Jijona de Generalitat Valenciana, were processed within “a month or a month and a half”. Now, with a complete report, the Guardia Civil “will act within 24 hours”.

International promotion

The Consejo is also promoting November 7 as Turron International Day. The documentation for this has already been submitted to UNESCO, although no final decision has yet been made.

Cogesa Expats

The Spanish almond

As for the core ingredient of the Christmas delicacy, the almond, the Spanish almond is mainly used. “This year we bought more than two million kilos of almonds from different regions such as Castilla-La Mancha or Aragón. This represents an increase of 11% compared to last year,” says Moncunill. Despite the challenges of climate change, such as reduced frost and drought, traditional drought-resistant cultivation is persisting, while new irrigation plantations are accelerating the process.

Origin of turron

The origins of the turron from Jijona date back to the 16th century in the town of Sexona, today’s Jijona. There are several theories about how exactly this delicacy came about. A popular theory suggests that the Arabs, when they ruled most of the Inerian Peninsula, introduced the concept of turron. It was intended to be a nutritious and sustainable food that had a long shelf life and was easy to transport, especially for their armies.

The Catalan Turró

Another theory attributes the invention to a Catalan artisan with the surname Turró. He is said to have created a nutritious food from local ingredients such as almonds and honey, essential nutrients in times of famine and war. However, this version is less supported by historical evidence.


The original recipe for turron from Jijona contained no sugar but only honey. Sugar was not added to the recipe until the early 20th century. The turron of Jijona is also the subject of a local legend. It tells about a king who married a Scandinavian princess. To ease her homesickness for the cold snowy landscapes she had left behind, the king had hundreds of almond trees planted. In early spring when the trees were in bloom, the land turned white as if it were covered with a layer of snow. The harvest from these trees was used to make turron. Thus, the Jijonencos started the tradition of making almond and turron products.

Introduction of machines

With the Industrial Revolution, turron production also changed. The introduction of new machines made possible the mass production of turron. Consequently, its export to other parts of the world too. One of the best known machines for producing the soft variety of this sweet is the ‘boixet’. This machine was also invented in Jijona.

Modern turron

Today, a wide variety of turron exists, including flavors such as chocolate, coffee, coconut, egg yolk and caramel. But the original variants are the soft turron from Jijona and the hard variant from Alicante, the main difference being the texture.

Since 1977, the Jijona brand name has been registered with the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office. The Consejo Regulador de las Indicaciones Geográficas Protegidas Jijona y Turrón de Alicante protects the industry of Jijona and guarantees that all products covered by this designation of origin meet the required quality requirements.

Also read: Christmas all year round in this idyllic Spanish village

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