Source: Born and raised in Turkey.
I've had the proper stuff in Turkey and it's not sweet, it's not sticky or gooey. The flavour, at least of the stuff I had, was subtle.
Not sure if it was British-made, mind you...
I recall it as being disgusting, but mostly because of the texture. I don't recall it being gummy or chewy at all -- it was soft and didn't put up resistance when you bit into it.
Gotta love the hate that shows up in the food names. Otherwise, i guess we like each other :)
For the coffee thing, it's not particularly any hate -- people just know this coffee for ages, from when they were kids, as the major domestic variety, so they call it like that. The same happens all over the Balkans, they call it X coffee in most countries X. That said, I think it's a general beverage that comes from the middle east / arab countries in general (Wikipedia says it originated in Yemen, existed in Egypt, etc before getting popular elsewhere), rather than something particularly Turkish, just that the Turkish branded it first.
That said, the most common kind has a very thin layer of icing sugar coating. It looks like this: https://i.imgur.com/TeSQuzP.jpg
Maybe misnamed, but hardly the hardly the fault of Mr. Lewis.
An aside: not to be a snob, but the commonly found (especially in the UK) Fry's Turkish delight is kind of a bastardization, and I think the vacuum sealed airport kind is OK but doesn't really do it justice. If you happen to go to Istanbul at some point, drop by Haci Bekir, Divan, Cafer Erol, or one of the other myriad candy shops that have been at it for decades, sometimes centuries. "The Best" is very subjective, but I think all these will have good, fresh specimens. Or go to Pera Palace's cafe and have a Turkish coffee, which always comes with lokum on the side.
I remember a while back having a debate over dinner (and eventually dessert) with friends as to which European country has the best variety and overall quality of desserts. It struck me as funny, and a bit sad, that an American who relied only on popular culture and mainstream media would think the answer to that question was easy: French! Of course!
Having had the opportunity to travel, work, and even live outside the US, I realize now just how wrong that view is! The variety of dessert foods in France pales in comparison to, say, Italy or Austria. Biased as I am, I argued that Turkish dessert cuisine was far above the rest, but of course all most people think of when they think of Turkish desserts is...Turkish Delight! Thanks, C.S.!
...If you're interested, some items to Google to understand what I mean: Fıstıklı Dolama, Cevizli Baklava, Maraş Dondurma, Güllaç, Su Muhallebi (for the rose water lovers), Tavuk Göğsü (don't read the ingredients until you try it, it's great!), Kazandibi, and my personal favorite Kaymaklı Künefe!
It is often called "Fıstıklı Sarma" (rather than dolama).
Güllaç..oh my. What a delight. You probably know, it is usually available in Ramadan - it is about the time now. There are very few places that make it outside of Ramadan. (p.s.: I know one)
I guess I'd choose "Kaymaklı Künefe" as my favourite from your list. But there are some others that are not on the list. Let me write them down as suggestions: Kıbrıs Tatlısı, Dondurmalı Irmik Helvası and Ayva Tatlısı.
By the way, Çifte Kavrulmuş Lokum is the Lokum as far as I know.
If you are to visit Istanbul, you can drop me a line and we can have a dessert or two :-)
I've only lived 5 years of my life in Turkey (I married into it!), but already I feel like I could write a book on Turkish food culture. One major aspect that I think is often overlooked is the seasonality. Whether it's food that is related to a holiday (Güllaç, Aşure) or food for a particular season (Salep, Boza), sometimes the anticipation makes the treats taste that much better! (...And now I'm sad because I can't have Boza.)
Then you have the greek salad, well I'm from Bulgaria.. We ain't callin' it that way :) But since I've been living in USA for a long time, I got used to calling it that way...
Actual sugar-dusted Turkish Delight cubes are less impressive. I don't mind the rosewater flavour - that's what I associated with the product - but it's just thick jelly. There's no contrast. And since I despise nuts, I'll not be eating any with crunchy bits either.
For god's sake, never buy Cadbury's. The chocolate is terrible and often is not even chocolate. Cadbury's is the worst that England can offer, an example of how English taste was destroyed by the search for profit. If there is one silver lining in the whole Brexit thing, is that Cadbury's chocolate will once again be uncompetitive in Europe compared to continental offers.
It's interesting to me how you phrased your comment "nothing for the world of sweets and chocolate"; who cares about that. McDo have probably fine both for "the world of burgers and fries" but occasionally I eat there and it suits the purpose.
That said, since Kraft took over Cadbury chocolate has changed beyond recognition and I no longer buy it.
What do you mean by this? What is your definition of chocolate?
If the chocolate was so terrible, then why is it the most popular chocolate in the UK? Why would Nestlé have bought Cadbury's?
OP is just projecting their own irrational hatred for Cadbury's.
It's not about being a snob - Cadbury's is objectively low-quality stuff. It's also very popular in a specific market for historical reasons, which makes it a good commercial proposition. The two concepts are not exclusive.
I am not sure the first is a reasonable question considering that popularity and quality hardly ever go hand in hand, especially in a country like the UK. Additionally I assume the second question has nothing to do with the chocolate quality.
A kid whose had his sugar rationed is going to consider Turkish delight in a totally different way than a kid in 2017
Unrelated story: I tried a keto diet for 2 months, all I remember is at the end of that two months I ate a piece of plain old whole bread. Tasted sweeter than any candy I remember.
So yeah, maybe we eat too much sugar in america...
I love Turkish Delight.
My wife had to travel to Turkey for work and frequently brought it back. I really like it. Actually in general, Turkish food is one of my favorite cuisines worldwide. I also like a lot of Indian sweets that many Americans find to sweet. No accounting for taste.
Western sweets by comparison almost always focus on a different flavour like chocolate, vanilla, nuts, fruits, mint, cinnamon, maple, etc (think of all the flavours of ice cream). Even Nerds, which are pretty much pure sugar, have malic acid to mimic the sour taste of fruit. There are western foods like marshmallows that are pretty flavourless though.
I disagree: it was enchanted Turkish Delight, which made the one eating it always craving for more, eventually eating himself to death if he'd get the chance.
I've tried the Cadbury chocolate-covered version, and a few packaged versions as an adult, and none of them are as good as we used to get from the Karmelkorn shop.
But I have to say, many of the Turkish Delight flavor variations weren't very appealing: rosewater, mint, etc.
We tended to like the fruitier ones such as lemon and orange. (And there was also pistachio, which I recall liking.)
The most poignant comment from anyone to whom I have introduced it was "a flower shop just exploded in my mouth."
I am partial to the rose flavor, but I am reaching the age where I must watch my sugar intake, so it is a rare indulgence.
I'm surprised that (german grocer) Aldi doesn't carry it. They always have Turkish dried apricots, and a number of odd confections in the winter.
My colleagues bring something sweet back whenever they travel, and it's usually gone by the end of the day. The Hershey's was the only thing still left a week later -- even the salty liquorice was eaten!
Why? We don't know, trade secret, but it's assumed the milk is lipolized somewhere in their process - as that would produce more of the acid.
The lecturers handed out a samples bag at the start with all sorts of samples (including new unreleased confections) - they were like "and this is American chocolate" followed closely by wretching and heaving sounds from across the auditorium, we were not warned! Very memorable.
So that is why, according to a production chemist working in chocolate c.1996.
I dare say they don't publicise the origins of the flavour.
I doubt it's verifiable but it seems reasonable. It's possible that it's lipolyized to stop it from spoiling so fast (as it would) and that could start that kind of story.
They also used to add various oil-based emulsifiers that European chocolate doesn't - which is why it has a much more greasy texture.
(Along with reading C.S. Lewis, we got to try and enjoy Turkish Delight and Gaz as kids - thanks to world-traveling grandparents.)
When I was a child, my family would occasionally buy made-in-house Turkish delight from a small, family Turkish food store, which has long since closed, near where I lived, and it was different and better. It had a softer, gooey-er texture and more delicate, less sweet flavour. Rose is the most memorable flavour for me. I believe our original inspiration for buying it was, in fact, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
My mother and I tried making some myself a few years ago to reproduce that memory, but the result was fairly sub-par, although still better than the packaged versions.
I can't recall but I don't think I made a connection between that and the book, as a child I just read it as him being offered sweets by a stranger (something we'd been warned of specifically).
Turkish delight was served by the evil witch and it turned Edmund unto a spell. In other books, I cannot remember which one, but there is the story of being lost and traveling through other lands and falling into the control of shahs and pashas.
The Narnia books were C.S. Lewis's attempt at turning thinking, particularly child thinking, against the cultures found in the Middle East.
I found a great article that connects a lot of the references and provides background behind C.S. Lewis.
I am now perplexed with recommending or not recommending this book. It was a terrific joy for me, very much like Harry Potter is a joy for children these days.
Edit: corrected link.
There is as much evil to be found within Narnia as there is to be found outside of it, over the entire series. There are quite a few evil Narnians, as there are also good Calormenes, such as Aravis in the Horse and His Boy, or Emmeth in The Last Battle.
I don't think that Lewis wouldn't argue that Turkish Delight itself is evil, but rather that evil can clothe itself in beauty (and I think he made that very point in some of his other writings).
Calormen is more used as "other", than merely "evil". It has both evil characters and good ones, and morally complex characters (like the Tisroc). As a nationality it's aims run counter to Narnian ones at times. But seeing as how it only really features in 2 out of the 7 books, I don't think C.S. Lewis was trying to use it's depiction to turn people against Middle Eastern culture. I think the worst that could be said is that Lewis was reflecting certain cultural sensibilities of his day.
That being said, if the prose is worth it, then one might take the book as an opportunity to talk about what those cultural sensibilities were, if one is recommending it to someone. Reading books that fall outside one's purview is not a bad thing, IMO.
A much stronger (though a bit longer) case is made at http://www.narniaweb.com/resources-links/are-the-chronicles-...
Yes, he had a hidden agenda: the books are somewhat allegorical and intended to turn the child towards Christianity, not against a particular culture.
I'd assume that the negative portrayal arose out of the conventional thinking of his time far more than anything more sinister. Which is not to say that it's palatable now.
I too loved the books as a child, utterly failing to realise their subtext until much later in life and I too would hesitate about passing them on to a child unexplained.
That's not really a hidden agenda, and the books are more than somewhat allegorical.
> The Narnia books were C.S. Lewis's attempt at turning thinking, particularly child thinking, against the cultures found in the Middle East.
What's more likely: that there's a cabal of staunchly xenophobic English fantasy authors or that foreign, unfamiliar cultures are great inspiration for fantasy stories?
That a single English fantasy author could be staunchly xenophobic is perfectly feasible and you could bring your own substantive sources to the party if you want to deny it in this particular case.
I used cabal to highlight that C.S. Lewis is hardly unique -- if you think he's a xenophobe I can't imagine what you think of Tolkein or even modern authors like George R. R. Martin.
Knowing that, reading the various books it's hard not to believe that the Narnia Chronicles were written partly to promote Christianity, and the Middle-Earth works were written partly to explore fictional languages.
There's no doubting they were written in an overtly Christian context; does the author speak about using the allegory as a means of proselytising? Or, is that conjecture?
Absolutely not. The books are incredibly in your face, even kids recognize it.
> How does that promote Christianity, perhaps to 'reinforce it for those raised as Christians'?
It is not promote christianity as in telling kids to become christians or much about god. It promotes christian values - how you should behave what you should think about situations. You may read the books or go to sermon and they boil down to pretty much the same thing.
The first, second and third focus of every story is moral lesson you are supposed to take out of it. Any other purpose (story, fun, world building, suspension, whatever) is somewhere after. That is why the books are so popular among christians, imo. If you remove moral teaching, not all that much is left.
> Lewis's attempt at turning thinking, particularly child thinking, against the cultures found in the Middle East
That said, after I had fun bargaining for some in the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, I ate little of what I brought home. I still like chocolate better. :)
The real stuff is much more delicate, subtly sweet, and has a much nicer mouth feel - not to mention flavor.
Rose water is one of those flavors you either like or dislike a lot. However it comes in other flavours! Various nuts, citrus, etc. very tasty.
It would seem to me that most writing consists of two parts:
1.) choosing words from an existing register and
2.) putting them in order.
But feel free to theorize that authors can only apply connotations to words that they invent.