Interview: Angel Velasco

Interview Mr. Angel Velasco, Torrons Vicens

Angel-VelascoOccupation: Master Turronero and Chocolatier

Position in the company: Manager-Owner

Age: 66 years old

TECHNIQUE/METHOD

How would you describe the turron (nougat) production process (highlight the most important part of the process)?

It is a completely artisanal process where we only use top quality products. For example, for the preparation of traditional Agramunt turron, honey is mixed with sugar, egg whites and hazelnuts or almonds. These four ingredients, in the right proportions and times, that only the master turroneros know, results in our centennial turron.

TOOLS/UTENSILS

Which tools/utensils are the most important in the process?

The cauldron and the paddle. There is evidence that they have been used by master turroneros at Turrons Vicencs since the late nineteenth century. The cauldron is a large circular copper cauldron with no handles that evenly distributes the heat, making it ideal for the production of turron. Also, the ingredients placed into the cauldron are mixed with a wooden paddle to ensure perfect cooking and homogeneity of the resulting mixture.

When the cooking is done and the mixture is still hot, the expert hands of the master turroneros separate portions and place them between two wafers giving them their well-known aspect.

TRADITIONAL ORGANIZATION OF THE LOCAL ACTIVITY

How important is the land/soil in the production of turron?

It is a product of proximity, known in Agramunt since the fifteenth century and produced by Torrons Vicens since 1775.

The particularity of the land gives much added value that has been recognized by the European Union with an IGP (Protected Geographical Indication), acknowledging that Agramunt turron is only produced in our town.

BACKGROUND/ PERSONAL ACTIVITY

Generational Importance: On a personal level, why did you decide to devote yourself to the turron sector?

When I was 14 I started working at the bakery “Prats I Fatjó” in Barcelona, starting my education as master turronero and chocolatier. From an early age I know that there was a lot to be done in the turron world.

At 21 I opened two bakeries on my own and at 25 I inaugurated the first frozen truffles and chocolates factory in Sant Boi, which has been operative for more than 35 years.

I didn’t hesitate when I had the opportunity to acquire Torrons Vicens. It was clear that the solution to carry on the historical company from Agramunt was consolidating it as a benchmark of quality, tradition and innovation in the sector.

MEDITERRANEAN SOCIETY AND CULTURE

Personal opinion about Mediterranean traditions and customs.

Turron has always been very present in the Mediterranean Diet. Traditionally, it was the Mediterranean Christmas dessert, par excellence.

At Turrons Vicens, we wanted to dissociate turron from Christmas and we have been selling turron year round for years now at our more than 30 stores.

Which Mediterranean tradition would you associate with turron? (Like a food item and a part of the Mediterranean Diet)

Traditionally in many homes, typical regional desserts were homemade for Christmas.

We could say that Torrons Vicens offers handicraft products made with the same passion that typical Christmas homemade desserts all year round.

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