If you’ve ever read the Narnia series by C.S Lewis, you probably remember the moment when Edmund encounters the white witch and is offered a box of Turkish delight. The candy is so delicious that he keeps eating it and can’t seem to stop.
Anyone who has ever tasted Turkish delight will have no problem seeing why Edmund was so easily drawn into the white witch’s trap with this delicious treat.
Turkish delight tastes like a combination of orange essence and rosewater. It often has nuts inside it, adding a crunchy and nutty flavor to the dessert.
What Is Turkish Delight?
Turkish delight, as you might imagine from the name, is a dessert that originated in the country of Turkey. In Turkey, the candy is known as lokum, where it’s often given as a gift to hosts and hostesses at dinner parties or when a person stays as a house guest.
The first instances of Turkish delight were in the 1700s. The treat was invented by a man named Bekir Effendi, who was a Turkish confectioner that made treats that were popular around the country. In fact, his treats were so popular that the sultan appointed him as the chief confectioner.
To make this candy, confectioners boil water and sugar into a sweet syrup. Then, they use cornstarch to thicken the candy into a gummy texture, which is quite different from many different candies.
After the candy has cornstarch incorporated into it, confectioners add gelatin to make the candy a gummy yet chewy dessert. Then, they add nuts and other flavorings to create the unique taste of this confection.
What Does Turkish Delight Taste Like?
Turkish delight’s flavor can vary depending on what the manufacturer adds to the candy. Normally, the candy is flavored with mint, rosewater, citrus, or even resin. Each of these flavors changes how the candy tastes.
Apart from the additives to the candy, you’ll also notice that it has a very sweet flavor. Since starch and sugar are the main ingredients in this candy, it’s quite a sweet candy despite the other flavors that help balance out the sugar.
Where to Buy Turkish Delight
Although Turkish delight was once a specialty item that was tough to come by, today you won’t have too much trouble getting your hands on it. Some grocery stores stock Turkish delight.
If you can’t get your hands on the candy in the grocery store, you can usually find it in specialty food stores or Halal markets. Or, you can purchase the Turkish delight on the internet and have it shipped to your door.
How to Make Turkish Delight
Do you want to try whipping up a batch of Turkish Delight in your kitchen? If so, you can do so pretty easily! Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make your Turkish Delight:
- 4 cups of granulated sugar
- 4 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
- 1 ¼ cups of cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons of rose water
- 2 to 3 drops of food coloring
- 1 ½ cups of shelled pistachios
- ½ cup of powdered sugar
Once you’ve gathered those ingredients you’re ready to get started making the Turkish delight.
- To make the treat, you’ll want to start by lightly oiling a 9×13-inch baking pan. Then, line the pan with plastic wrap and oil the plastic wrap. Set the pan aside for now.
- Next, combine one cup of water, one teaspoon of cream of tartar, and four cups of granulated sugar. Bring the entire mixture to a boil and let it simmer for four minutes without stirring the mixture.
- Once the mixture has boiled, remove the lid. Using a candy thermometer, check the mixture until it reaches 260ºF. Then, remove the pan from the heat, replace the lid, and set the candy to the side.
- Next, mix together one cup of cornstarch, one teaspoon of cream of tartar, and three cups of water together. Using a whisk, stir the mixture constantly over medium-high temperatures until the mixture starts to thicken up.
- When the mixture is thick, continue to cook it for two to three minutes. Then, slowly pour the sugar syrup you made into the starch paste and continue to whisk it over the heat.
- Bring the combination to a boil and keep whisking the mixture over low heat. Be patient at this point because you’ll need to mix it for about 25 minutes or until the mixture becomes clear.
- When the mixture is clear, remove it from the heat. Add the rose water, food coloring, and shelled pistachios. Mix gently until the ingredients are combined.
- Then, pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Once it’s in the pan, place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the candy and allow it to cool overnight.
- While the candy is cooling, mix the remaining cornstarch and the powdered sugar together. Then, cut the candy into pieces and roll the pieces in powdered sugar.
- Store the candy in a sealed plastic container at room temperature.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have more questions about Turkish delight, we’re here for you. Check out these answers to a few frequently asked questions about this delicious treat.
Is Turkish delight bad for you?
As delicious as Turkish delight is, it’s far from healthy. Each square of this treat packs a whopping 32 grams of sugar and contains no nutritional value.
How bad is turkish delight for you?
While it’s fine to eat Turkish delight from time to time, you certainly shouldn’t overindulge the way Edmund did. Too much Turkish delight provides the body with too much sugar and over time could lead to issues such as weight gain and diabetes.
What is the best flavor of Turkish delight?
There are tons of delicious flavors of Turkish delight, but the most popular ones are mint, orange, rose, lemon, pomegranate, pistachio, cream, walnut, mastic, and hazelnut. Recently, chocolate-covered Turkish delight has risen in popularity as well.