Tastemakers: Candy Ma'am Sally Williams
In Tunisia four years ago, South African cooking teacher Sally Williams had the best nougat she'd ever tasted. She managed to track down the producer, who reluctantly shared some of his techniques, and she and her husband soon launched a nougat-making business out of their Johannesburg garage. Today Sally Williams Fine Honey Nougat sells tons of candy a month but still cooks it in small batches, and Williams still tastes the nuts herself to insure that they're superfreshCalifornia almonds, South Africa macadamias, Mozambique cashews and Turkish hazelnuts. (The only other ingredients are honey, egg whites and sugar.) Unlike so many nougats, which are crumbly, floury or likely to break one's teeth, Williams's is smooth and creamy, with a pleasing chewiness and a wonderful honey flavor. F&W executive food editor Tina Ujlaki is a big fan; she explains, "It's like the most sophisticated marshmallow you've ever tasted, but with more texture" ($8 for 5.7 oz.; www.chefshop.com; 877-337-2491).