Some of you may be thinking; “surely everyone knows what Turkish delight is!” Right? Well, yes you are right. Most people do recognize “Turkish delight”, have an idea of what it is, and can at the very least describe it along the lines of; “those little-sweet-fragrant-soft candy things from Narnia“. Often adding “I like the rose and lemon Turkish delights” to their vague description of the delightful candy having been acquainted already.
To be honest, in our age of food awareness where we are constantly reminded of what exactly goes into the making of our foods and its journey to our plates, that’s not much of an accurate description. Nor does it do justice for the national treasure which has now almost become part of the Turkish identity outside of Turkey, synonymous with anything good to come out of Turkey.
So What is Turkish Delight?
How did it come to be known as such globally? Putting aside all the puns and semantics and delving into the real history of Turkish delight reveals an intriguing story of how this simple, yet delightful recipe managed to capture hearts and sweet-tooths all over the world.
Turkish delight or lokum is a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios, and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel. Traditional varieties are often flavored with rosewater, mastic, Bergamot orange, or lemon. The confection is often packaged and eaten in small cubes dusted with icing sugar, copra, or powdered cream of tartar, to prevent clinging. Other common flavors include cinnamon and mint.
The origin of the confection is not precisely known, but the candy is known to have been produced in Turkey as early as the late 1700s.
What is in a Turkish Delight?
The basic ingredients of Turkish delight are corn starch, caster sugar, and various oils and flavourings along with any dried fruits or nuts according to taste. Most modern iterations have also taken to using gelatine as a setting agent. You will find plenty of recipes which advise its use, this is blasphemous to any artisan who’s in the business of making authentic Turkish delight, the traditional way.
You can only achieve the perfect texture using this traditional method, resulting in a gradually melting delight as it soothes its way towards one’s throat, slowly releasing a heavenly mix of flavors from the oils and fruits.
Flavours of Turkish Delights
A whole variety of flavors are now available, most traditional and oldest being rosewater and orange blossom water flavored Turkish delight. Turk’s choice of delight is layered with crushed nuts, most popular being roasted pistachios, hazelnuts and coconut flakes added into the mixture and rolled layer by layer to create a sushi-like presentation.
If you are looking for best Turkish delight then I will recommend Turkish delight with Cream. If you are looking Turkish Delights with Mixed Nuts or Filled with chunks of pistachio, almond, hazelnut, walnut, and covered entirely with real red rose petals.
The Best Turkish Delight Brand
The brand Hacı Bekir is also one of the oldest brand and dating back to the 16th century. Some tourists prefers it.
Hazer Baba is also very good. If you are looking for luxery you should give it a try.
I think we can say the same thing for Dora Life if we are talking about the rose flavor.
Turkish delight in Turkey is mostly consumed in moderate, and on special occasions, as is custom to bring Turkish delight to a joyous occasion such as the birth of a newborn, friend, and family visits during the festive months of Ramadan.
However, having Turkish coffee is also an occasion for the Turks and that is an occasion often accompanied by some luxury Turkish delight than not. In general, we prefer mixed flavour.
Turkish coffee is usually served with a cube or two of double roasted pistachio delights at most establishments and households. It is customary to have lokum before and after coffee, cleansing the palette with water each time in between.
But really, for me, there’s no better way to enjoy lokum than with a good cup of Turkish coffee and good company, by the Bosphorus. Which flavour is your favourite and how do you enjoy yours? Tell us in the comments section below!
Where to Buy Turkish Delight?
My favorite is really yummy.
If you liked any kind of and haven’t tried that you shouldn’t wait to try.