Turron Doña Pepa - Popular stories

20:21 NovataSL 1 Comments



A very well know dessert that has conquered the hearts of thousands with its original and unique taste. 

Turron Doña Pepa (Mrs. Pepa's nougat) is a traditional Peruvian sweet that is consumed mostly in October because of its close relationship with the celebration of the Lord of the Miracles, the world's largest procession, according to the Vatican. In Peru, especially Lima, October is the purple month and the month of turrones.  


The exact origin of this dessert is still unknown, but here we share the most popular stories: (you can also watch the video


1. The Miracle

The most popular or beloved story by all Peruvians, is Josefa Marmanillo, as well known as "Doña Pepa", a slave from the Cañete valley (colonial times) that stood out as a good cook. Due to some health problems, she began to feel a paralysis in the joints that prevented her from performing her daily tasks. Hearing the rumors of the miracles of the Christ of Pachacamilla, she decides to travel from her native Cañete to Lima. Her faith and devotion was so immense that she recovered from the evils that tormented her. As a token of her appreciation she traveled from Cañete to Lima just to accompany her divine patron. Nevertheless, she wanted to offer him a present as a token of her gratitude. Therefore, when she was in the procession she noticed everything that involves the festival as the group of sahumadoras (woman who carries a perfume in braziers or pebeteros during the religious processions and its task is to sahumar, that is to say "to give aromatic smoke to something in order to purify it or that it smells good") with purple habit as the group of singers. In addition, of the shippers of each team dressed in full suit and above this attire, the habit with insignia.  However, what most drew her attention was the suppliers that were located in the surroundings where the procession passed, they offered the classic anticuchos, picarones, choclos, choncholíes, rice with milk, purple mazamorra, emollient and picarones with its particular honey (all Peruvian desserts). In that moment, when she saw the food and the desserts, she decided to thank her Lord with a new Peruvian sweet prepared by her. Thus, to the next exit of the divine image she took her nougat and offered it to the parishioners as a sign of her gratitude to the Lord of Miracles. From there, the nougat of Josefa was spread and baptized as it is known in our time: "Turrón de Doña Pepa". 

2. The Contest

Another popular story talks about a contest arranged by a Viceroy looking for a tasty and nutritious sweet that could be preserved for several days without losing its flavor. Marmanillo was the winner of that event so, her nickname 'Doña Pepa' was associated with dessert. 


3. The cook

This one refers to "a brunette cook" married to a man named Cobos, former employee of the Public Beneficence. Her real name would have been Josefa and she was a specialist in preparing snacks. She also had the ability to make drinks and desserts. Josefa immortalized her name with an original nougat made of wheat flour, butter, egg and honey. 

There are several stories behind this delicious dessert, we choose the best known to share with you. No matter when or who was the original creator, the mystery of its origin only enhances the popularity of this traditional dessert.

Written by: GringoPeru

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