Turkish Delight history recipe
Name: Turkish Delight (Hazelnut)
Place Purchased: gift
Type: Turkish Delight
I’ve gotten the impression that some of those who come to the Candy Blog are curious about Turkish Delight. I’ve already detailed my impressions of The Ginger People’s Ginger Delight. Today’s review is of a more traditional Turkish Delight.
But first a little background from the back of the package:
An old Turkish aphorism tells one to “eat sweetly and speak sweetly”. Sweets have always been an important component of Turkish cuisine. The origin of Lokum - Turkish Delight - dates back to the time of the Ottoman Empire. A part of Turkish culture for centuries, the recipe has remained virtually unchanged from its inception.
A whimsical tale tells of the creation of Turkish Delight: In an attempt to appease his many wives, a famous Sultan ordered his confectioner to create a unique sweet. Eager to please his Sultan, the confectioner blended a concoction of sugar syrup, various flavorings, nuts and dried fruits then bound them together with mastic (gum arabic). After many attempts, the delicately scented and sugary sweet Lokum - better known in the West as Turkish Delight - was created. The Sultan was so taken by this elegant new creation that he appointed the sweet maker the court’s Chief Confectioner. Thereafter a plate of Lokum was served at daily feast in the Ottoman Court.
Lokum was unveiled to the west in the 19th century. During his travels to Istanbul, an unknown British traveler became very fond of the Turkish delicacies, purchased cases of Lokum and he shipped them to Britain under the name Turkish Delight. Today, Turkish Delight remains the sweet of choice in many Turkish homes. Enjoyed world wide, the subtle flavours of Turkish Delight finely compliment coffee and sweeten the breath at the end of a meal. Traditionally offered at Christmas in the West, Turkish Delight is becoming increasingly popular as a confection to be enjoyed year-round.
Most Turkish Delight I’ve had in the past was coated in a mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar, which makes it rather messy and though it’s a pretty bland coating, it does make for a sweet coating. Turkish Delight is generally flavored with scents - light and aromatic scents. In the past I’ve had Orange Blossom, Rosewater and Lemon.
This traditional Hazelnut Turkish Delight from Sultan is coated in coconut, which keeps the cubes from sticking together or to your fingers but also adds a wonderful nutty/chewy texture to the delicate sugar paste and hazelnuts (filberts).