Turkish Delight anyone??

Turkish Delight is a soft and chewy candy and staple dessert of Turkey. The first time I ever heard of this dessert was while reading The Chronicles of Narnia as a kid.  When I got to Turkey, I found out what it was really all about.  Yum.

(Chocolate pistachio and mixed fruit hazelnut)

What is it?

Basically, Turkish Delight is some sort of nut, such as pistachios, hazelnuts, and walnuts, embedded into a jelly-like substance, made of fruit, and flavored with rosewater, mastic, or lemon. The candy is cut into small cubes and dusted with flour, icing sugar, coconut, or powdered cream of Tartar, to prevent clinging.

(Cocoa Pistachio)

A quick history lesson here:

The Sultan of the Imperial court in Istanbul during the late 1700s kept cracking his teeth on hard candy and demanded soft candy. His confectioner, Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir, immediately set to work on inventing a new form of dessert. He mixed water, sugar, corn starch, cream of tartar and rosewater, cooked it up, poured the mixture into a flat pan slicked with almond oil, and let it cool. Then he sprinkled it with powdered sugar, cut it into bite-sized chunks and tested it out. His new confection was an instant success — it was soft and easy to chew, and delicious. He called it “rahat lokum” or “comfortable morsel.” Today we call it Turkish Delight. Ali Muhiddin became a celebrity overnight and serviced all of the Ottoman royalty with his new creation.

Here are some of my favorites:

(Fig Pistachio and Pomegranate Hazelnut)

A delicious assortment!

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