0 of 0

Pop quiz: What is this thing?

Maybe it's because Halloween is right around the corner, but our first thought was, candy! Specifically, nougat — a confection made with nuts suspended in egg whites and sugar or honey. In Spain, it's called turron; in Italy, torrone. In the Provence region of France, it's one of 13 de rigueur desserts traditionally served during Christmas. Iranians have a version called gaz, sweetened with the sap of the desert plant gaz-angebin.

Nougat has been around for centuries. But what we're looking at is a whole lot older — and more heavenly.

It's a chunk of the Fukang Meteorite, found in China's Gobi Desert in 2000. Those enticing shiny "nuts" are bits of the mineral olivine, encased in a matrix of nickel-iron. This little beauty, a rarer type of meteorite called a pallasite, is 4.5 billion years old — a leftover from the birth of our solar system.

The nougat doppelganger was one of many meteorites up for auction last Sunday in New York. Asking price started at $100,000.

Alas, no one bit.

"It did not sell," says meteorite dealer Darryl Pitt, "and so we ate it, so to speak."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.