The first time I heard about Turkish Delights was probably fourth grade, when I was reading “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” The White Witch gives Edmund Pevensie some Magical Turkish Delights, and he gets so hooked on the stuff that he betrays his siblings later in the story just to get another taste. I remember reading that and thinking the fourth grade equivalent of “that must be some good sh*t!”
The book didn’t really describe how Turkish Delights looked or tasted, but I just always assumed that they were chocolate. I mean, a magical candy good enough to cut through bonds of blood loyalty? Must be chocolate. Maybe with some caramel and mousse cream and candied nuts. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered, years later, that Turkish Delights are not, in fact, chocolate candies, but actually lemon and rose-water flavored jelly confections made from sugar and starch. Sigh. Another dream dashed. I don’t even like jelly candies!
My dad, however, does like them. And, he’s apparently a fiend for Turkish Delights. A family friend gave my parents a few boxes of the stuff when they were in Europe a while back, and he demolished the candy in record time. So, no brainer, I decided to make some homemade Turkish Delights for Father’s Day. I didn’t have lemon extract or rose-water (I don’t even begin to know where to buy rose-water), so I opted for raspberry flavoring instead. Not super traditional, but whatever — tasted fine to me. And more importantly, my dad liked them. A lot. He ate half a plate after lunch today and looked pretty happy with the extra tin of candies I gave him to take home. He even asked me to give the recipe to my mom so that she could make them for him regularly in the future. Awesome.