Travellers will be struck by the many attractions as they wind their way through Turkey but one memory they can take away and sample is Turkish Delight.
Turkish Delight, a sweet aromatic mass of sweet, is as much a byword of the country as is French wine, Dutch Tulips and Swiss chocolate.
The unlocked flavours when you bite into a Delight are as exotic as a trip through the back alleys of Istanbul.
The History of Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight is prepared from starch and sugar, filled with dry fruits, honey or nuts and has a sticky texture, while gum is used to bind the mix together. Sold in cubes, they have powdered sugar sprinkled on them. Popular among the Delight’s tastes are almond and rose, and it’s not hard to see why it was a luxury sweet for Royals more than 200 years ago.
History suggests many different ways Turkish Delight began, whether it be a Sultan’s allure of a woman with the sweet, or the work of a confectioner whose handiwork in his kitchens became an instant with Istanbulites. Either way, Turkish Delight soon extended to the Royal Courts and even lovers, who exchanged them as tokens of love. The confectioner’s shop is a piece of Istanbul history and can be viewed on Hamidiye Caddesi, two blocks from the New Mosque.
The variations of the Delight also point to another legend of warring cooks trying to keep favour and flavour with the ruling Sultan and today’s mix of Delight stuffed with walnuts, dried fruits, and chocolate are a testament to that legend. While remaining a popular tea time treat for Turks, it soon caught on in the West when, in the 1800s, the sweet was transported back by a British traveller and he coined the term Turkish Delight.
The sweet has been, in different forms, popular with the likes of famous artists and politicians, including Napoleon.
Best of Turkey Tour
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