Sunday, March 1, 2015

Turkish Delight .......dessert of Sultans and Kings

TURKISH DELIGHT .........dessert of Sultans and Kings
An old Turkish saying is "eat sweetly and speak sweetly". Sweets have always been an important part of Turkish cuisine. The origin of Lokum -Turkish Delight- dates back to the time of the Ottoman Empire.

In the early part of 18th century, honey and grape nectar were the only sweetening agents available to Turkish confectioners. With the introduction of sugar in the late 18th century, a new era of sweet dishes were introduced all over the world and also in the Ottoman Empire.

Turkish people enjoy telling the tale behind the creation of turkish delight: In an attempt to impress his many wives, a famous Sultan ordered his chef to create a unique dessert for dinner . The chef blended sugar syrup, various flavourings, nuts and dried fruits then bound them together with mastic (gum Arabic). After several attempts, a most delectable sweet emerged from the royal kitchens. The Sultan was so delighted with these delicious little gems that he proclaimed the sweet maker the court's head chef .A plate of Turkish delight was served at daily feasts in the Ottoman court.

Turkish delight was unveiled to the west in the 19th century. During his travels to Istanbul, an unknown British traveler became very fond of the Turkish Sweets he purchased tons of "rahat lokoum" and he shipped them to Britain under the name "Turkish delight".

It is believed that Picasso enjoyed Turkish delight daily to improve his concentration while Napoleon and Winston Churchill could not resist pistachio filled Turkish delights.

Today, Turkish delight remains the sweet of choice in many Turkish people and is enjoyed by hundreds of travelers visiting the country every year.Traditionally offered as a treat at Christmas all over Europe . It gained world wide fame in the children" s book/ movie Narnia when the main character could not resist it .
Bazaars across Istanbul sell this local delicacy packed in beautiful boxes.