Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Candy Essay: Turkish Delight

There’s been a lot of talk on the internets about Turkish Delight, also known as Turkish Paste or Lokum. Most of this sudden interest is because of The Chronicles of Narnia movie that just came out.


If you’re not familiar with the books, this sweet treat plays a pivotal role in the story as the second youngest child, Edmund, meets up with the White Witch who seduces him with the promise of as much Lokum as he can eat. Some people wonder how he could betray his siblings over a simple sweet (which was bewitched) but you have to remember that the story takes place during WWII when sugar was very hard to come by, even for children in middle class families. I’m enough of a sugar freak to have done some things that were probably not well thought out because I needed my fix that I can sympathize in a way for Edmund. (And he does redeem himself.)

Turkish Delight is rather unknown in the States and probably with good reason. Americans are not really familiar with floral flavors and delicate candies such as these. They don’t really keep well, so it’s easy to get stale Turkish Delight, which only leads to disappointment. I’ve had my share of crusty Turkish Delight over the years which has made me question why I like it, but there’s something so elusive and sublime about it, I’m tempted to travel to Turkey just to partake of the freshly made stuff. Here’s a fabulous first-person account on Lulu’s Lulu Loves Manhattan blog.

Turkish Delight is a rather simple jelly candy made from sugar, cream of tartar, corn starch and a little flavor. It’s quite different from other jelly candies in that it doesn’t have any gelatin or pectin to firm it up, just the corn starch. (This makes it a good candy to get/make for Vegan friends.) This is a kind of unstable mixture which can go bad rather quickly, so Turkish Delight is always best fresh. Covering it in chocolate is actually a pretty good way to keep it fresh, as Fry’s has found with their Turkish Delight bar

Classic Turkish Delight is usually Rose flavored but can be mint or lemon. There are other varieties that include nuts (hazelnuts or pistachios are popular), coconut and of course other fruit flavors like strawberry, raspberry, apricot and I even saw this recipe on Becks & Posh for Cardamom Rose which sounded really good to me. I tried making Turkish Delight several times as a teen (having been told that the fresh stuff was the best) but never quite succeeded. A recipe probably would have helped. Heaven help the teen who has only the ingredients label to go off of; my mother was very patient with the strange pans of fragrant goo my sister and I created. 

I’ve always been fond of aromatic flavors, I don’t know if it’s because I used to eat flowers as a kid (not just violets and rosepetals but also honeysuckle and nasturtiums) but I find them very intriguing. I later worked in an herb shop as a teen where I was exposed to many amazing teas, flowers and herbs. They’re beguiling because they taste like they smell. And they have a wonderful aftertaste. There’s been a huge resurgance of floral flavors lately in upscale cooking/food - I’m seeing a lot of rose flavored, lavender, violet as well as some of the more woodsy flavors like anise/licorice/fennel, rosemary and the essences of bergamot, orange and lemon (and I’d love to try some calamansi).

Still, there will be detractors for any candy and I have no problem with that either. There are lots of candies out there I detest, such as Marzipan (though I keep giving it a try hoping that I’ll change my mind because the concept is sound) and if everyone liked the same thing, there wouldn’t be much of a need for this blog. Snarkmarket had an interesting post with fascinating comments, and Slate had an article which prompted me to write this post.

I think part of it is about engaging the imagination. I like tasting new things, especially ones specific to a region or culture. It helps me to connect. Open your mouth ... and your mind!

Photo by DBarefoot taken 4/15/200 in Dublin

Related Candies

  1. Lindt: 60% Extra Dark Truffles
  2. Halvah and Turkish Delight
  3. Fry’s Turkish Delight
  4. Turkish Delight
  5. Ginger Delight

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:26 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     Fun StuffNews

  1. It’s funny - Ever since Narnia came out, I have been getting loads of hits on my site for the turkish delight recipe I featured a year ago.

    Just to make the coincidence more uncanny, I actually worked and have a credit on the new Lion the witch and the Wardrobe movie.

    (Although I had nothing to do with any turkish delight)

    Comment by Sam Breach on 12/20/05 at 5:26 pm #
  2. Sam - the odd part from my side as well is that I was researching something else entirely (about cardamom and rose flavored ice cream) when I stumbled across your recipe. But it seemed like a good one to include here!

    I haven’t even seen the movie yet, but I’ll keep my eyes out for your credit!

    Comment by cybele on 12/20/05 at 5:34 pm #
  3. The description of Turkish Delights in a review of “Narnia” gave me a clue that the Aplets and Cotlets produced in the apple growing region of Washington state are in fact “Turkish Delights”. The flavors are that of apples and apricots, and I loved them from the factory tasting experience I had several years ago. There was a recipe published along with the review, and I tried it, but it did not jell properly, so I suspect my temperature was not quite high enough. Seems simple enough, but the time with the “lid on”, according to the recipe, could vary the evaporation. Our elevation is 600 feet. I would like to make it successfully just once to have a controlled method. This is difficult with an electric cook- top. Any suggestions?  Any recipes would be welcome!

    Comment by Patsy Thomas on 12/31/05 at 10:43 am #
  4. As a matter of fact my businesdid make the Turkish Delight used in the Narnia film . We didn’t get a mention in the credits but it was an interesting experience . The product was custom sizes for filming ( and flavours to suit the actor )and several different versions were made and used . The recipe is very traditional and uses no gelatine or pectin and the secret to making is in the technique , time and temperatures for manufacturing - it takes around 6 hours to cook 100 kgs ( about 200 pounds ) at the end of the cook period you have a window of only a few minutes between to soft or too hard -its sort of like magic because you only have visuals and feel from experience to get it right when its hot - if its wrong when it cools , it’s off to the dump !! Weather temperature and humidity also affect the process which doesn’t make it easy - still if it was easy everyone would be making it . Like to hear others experiences - contact me directly

    Comment by Ross McKenzie on 1/18/06 at 1:35 am #
  5. Hello rose, I went to your website.  I recently watched the cronicles of Narnia and am very intersted in making turkish delight.  I noticed that you cannot ship to America is there any possible way I can get a recipe from you?

    Comment by Kim on 2/17/06 at 4:54 pm #
  6. Hi Kim , thanks for the note - making traditional Turkish Delight at home is really difficult and time consuming - the recipe ( sugar ,glucose ,starch and water )is only a small part of the successful process - mostly it relies on experience and judgement when cooking . I am told that an apprenticeship in Turkey takes 7 years to complete - certainly after 3 years making it there can still be a few suprises .We dont have any problem or issue with shipping to the US (apart from the cost ) for private importations - it only gets messy when looking at stock for resale ( the FDA and paperwork get in the way )- please contact me if you have further interest ( we will be happy to look at commercial quantities if requested )

    Regards , Ross

    Comment by Ross McKenzie on 2/19/06 at 9:01 pm #
  7. Hey the narnia movie came up with it how did u get the recipie?!

    Comment by jessica peters on 5/03/06 at 3:45 pm #
  8. Cybele's avatar

    Jessica - are you saying that Turkish Delight is a fictional item created by CS Lewis?

    Comment by Cybele on 5/03/06 at 4:08 pm #
  9. Hi Jessica ,

    Turkish delight has been about far longer than the C S Lewis book - something similar first appears in Persian literature from about 700 AD - 1300 years ago . It still tastes really good if its made correctly !! lots of it is just cheap and nasty - full of gelatine - not at all the melt in the mouth consistenccy of the proper product .

    Cheers , Ross

    Comment by Ross McKenzie on 5/03/06 at 8:19 pm #
  10. Dear Edmund, Give Us The The Red Turkish Delight To Us Tomorrow At The Morning. Sincerely,                          Emmy

    Comment by Emmy on 5/26/06 at 5:41 pm #
  11. I heard about turkish in movie Narnia . I have been never eat it before. I want to know where is buy store in Los Angeles

    Comment by Vincent Wong on 6/23/06 at 4:12 pm #
  12. Cybele's avatar

    Vincent -

    I’ve found Turkish Delight in a few different places in Los Angeles.

    I reviewed something called Ginger Delight that’s made by the Ginger People which is carried at Whole Foods, it was on one of the displays by the checkout counter. It’s not quite like the real stuff (a little more flavorful) but was definitely fresh.

    I’ve also seen it a ethnic markets such as India Sweets & Spices (there are a few locations for them in Los Angeles, I’ve been to the one in Atwater Village on Los Feliz Blvd.) as well as Mashti Malone’s Ice Cream in Hollywood on La Brea.

    Sainsbury’s deli on Santa Monica Blvd in West LA also carried something called “Fry’s Turkish Delight” which is a rose flavored version covered in chocolate. I also saw that at Cost Plus World Market, which sometimes has Turkish Delight in the large pieces, you might want to call and check.

    Armenian, Indian and Turkish stores may all have it as well - you might want to call and ask if there’s one nearby you.

    Comment by Cybele on 6/23/06 at 4:41 pm #
  13. I want to copy address from Sainsbury’s deli on Santa monica Blvd in West LA and another near by my home .
    I live in Mt. Washington by near Eagle Rock , Glendale and Pasadasa .

    Vincent Wong

    Comment by Vincent Wong on 6/24/06 at 11:16 am #
  14. Hey My teacher made my whole class turkish delight way back in the day when I was in the fourth grade after reading C.S. Lewis’s novel The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe with jello topped with the sugar I think u all are talking about. Have u ever heard of turkish delight being made that way? and if so would u tell me the recipe for it because it was hella delicious!!! lol

    Comment by Li Li on 8/30/06 at 6:05 pm #
  15. Dear Bakers, Send me a pistachio Turkish delight because I haven’t tried it before. Sincerely, Emmy

    Comment by Emmy on 9/11/06 at 5:02 pm #
  16. “I?m enough of a sugar freak to have done some things that were probably not well thought out because I needed my fix that I can sympathize in a way for Edmund. (And he does redeem himself.)”

    Well, no.  Aslan redeems Edmund.

    Comment by Mike on 12/16/06 at 7:13 am #
  17. i love the turkish delight!!!

    Comment by Krystina on 12/29/06 at 2:15 pm #
  18. I love Turkish Delight!!

    Comment by Samantha on 2/26/07 at 11:24 pm #
  19. I love Edmund and Peter ever sinced I watched Narnia. I just think I fell in LOVE with those “handsomest” gentlemen in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Samantha on 2/26/07 at 11:27 pm #
  20. Dear Makers of Turkish Delight,
    Please come to our house tomorrow to give us enchanted Turkish delight and lemon Turkish delight for us because we wanted it. Wrap a present and write To: The Family From: Aslan, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. It’s our favorite candy to eat and drive to our house to give it to us tomorrow. Please do it.

    Comment by Emmy on 3/04/07 at 3:33 pm #
  21. it doesnt taste that good but who knows my frend bought them @ a store on rt 6 so who knows but they really r good

    Comment by jessica on 3/15/07 at 11:45 am #
  22. I just came back from Seattle to attend my brother’s wedding. They sell the Fruit Delights from Liberty Orchards in all the airport gift shops. Or, you can order them online at http://www.libertyorchards.com. I love the fruit flavors best. I am American, so I guess the floral flavors don’t appeal to me as much. Try a box of Fruit Delights if you want to taste Turkish Delight. It is made in America, so if you are in California or elsewhere, it shouldn’t be a problem to have it shipped out to you. I am tempted to go on their web site and buy a big 28 ounce box of the Hawaiian fruit flavored ones!! better watch my wallet though, this could become an expensive addiction!!

    Comment by Vicki on 3/22/07 at 9:56 am #
  23. Thank you for showing me what Turkish Delight looks like,I looked up a lot of sites about it and never could find it,so thank you very much                                                                                                                                                                                                                         from,Mason   ps:i’m only eleven

    Comment by Mason Vaughn on 3/29/07 at 3:37 am #
  24. I’ve never seen the movie but when I was a kid I read and saw the play of “The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe” and have always wondered (to this day) what Turkish Delight tastes like. I found this chocoloate bar called “Big Turk” which is supposed to mimic Turkish Delight (just covered in chocolate) but it tasted like garbage.

    I gave up, but recently it was brought to my attention again. I live in Toronto, Canada. Would you happen to know where I could find the real deal Turkish Delight in the city? I tried searching online, but the only thing I found that was useful was this highly informative website.

    Comment by Dorian on 6/22/07 at 9:36 am #
  25. I am curious, I once read in an article that the American food culture has a candy that resembles Turkish Delight, but I can’t remember what it was called or where I read the article.  And it wasn’t Applets & Cotlets.  Do you happen to know what the candy is?


    Comment by Marisol on 8/05/07 at 3:58 am #
  26. does anybody have the recipe for a gelatine free turkish delight? I can’t find any gelatine without beef gelatine.I am a vegetarian. So if u have the recipe pleasse let me know

    Comment by Anonymous on 10/19/07 at 11:01 pm #
  27. re: question in post #26

    Liberty Orchards - many items are vegan


    see especially “Old Country Locoum” (another name for Turkish Delight)

    which comes in Rose-Pistachio, Cinnamon-Walnut, OrangeBlossom-Almond, and Lemon

    and also “Green Tea Sparklers”

    which comes in LemonGrass, MandarinOrange, Pomegranate, and Jasmine

    and many other varieties….


    Comment by vegan delight on 10/20/07 at 4:37 pm #
  28. Peter is so cuuuuuuuuuuuuute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Ebbi on 12/06/07 at 2:06 am #
  29. One of my co-workers mentioned that she liked a lipgloss that had the name “Turkish Delight” as the color. Then she said “I don’t know why its called ‘Turkish Delight’ - that name makes no sense!”... I then had to school her in what a Turkish Delight is.  The poor girl is 25 and has no idea about the world around her…

    Comment by DD on 12/19/07 at 4:26 am #
  30. I work closely with someone who is from Turkey and is now visiting her country for the holidays.  I asked her if she can bring me Turkish Delights and she will.  I am looking forward to tasting the delights that are mentioned in the movie Narnia.  It has been of interest to me ever since I watched the movie.  I had never heard of them before.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to taste the Turkish Delights real soon.  I look forward to it.

    Comment by Yvonne on 12/28/07 at 3:48 am #
  31. I never saw the Narnia movie, but read Lion Witch and Wardrobe as a kiddo. Had always wondered what it was, then just by chance saw some Turkish Delight at the Whole Foods store in Austin - got Raspberry. It does remind me a lot of Applets and Cotlets, though the texture is a bit more smooth.

    Comment by Tori on 12/31/07 at 9:08 am #
  32. Still looking for a vegetarian recipe. To #27, Liberty Orchards is not a recipe, it’s a commercial enterprise that charges around a dollar an ounce plus shipping! I’m looking to have some fun and cook it myself, without having to pay an arm and a leg for a bunch of airy packaging. All the recipes on the Internet seem to call for gelatin, which is a no-no for my veggie friends. Has anyone seen a vegetarian recipe online?

    Comment by Vegan on 3/04/08 at 7:13 pm #

    Comment by IHIFAHK on 5/14/08 at 4:02 am #
  34. Hi Vegan ,

    We make traditional ( no-gelatine ) Turkish Delight here in New Zealand and did in fact make the TD for the Narnia film . There is a very good reason why published recipes are based on the non-authentic gelatine version - simply that it is the time to cook and guarantee of success . If we made with gelatine as almost everyone round the world does it would take about 20 mins to make a batch - making the traditional way takes about 6 hours cooking to make about 150 pounds and it has to be stirred constantly , at the end of the process there is a 5 min window when it is right - stop too soon and it won’t set , a little to long and it becomes caramel - experience is the only teacher and it is a steep curve as you cant rework the product if it is wrong - The only ” home” recipe I have ever seen for a non-gelatine delight required about 3 hours cooking and constant stirring - Not much fun and a decided barrier to doing it at home for all but the most enthusiastic .

    Hope the background is of interest . Cheers , Ross

    Comment by Ross McKenzie on 5/14/08 at 11:13 pm #
  35. Hmmm. This gives me an idea.

    If I ever start a blog and want it to make money too.
    I will write articles that relate to the newest best movies out and I will get tons of traffic!

    Wow, ty for the great marketing tip! :-p

    Have a good life! =)

    Comment by Nini on 6/28/08 at 7:32 pm #
  36. I know what you mean about Americans not liking (or giving a chance to) flower flavors.  When I first read about “pudding with violets” in Harry Potter, I scratched my head, but then I remembered that I’d been eating rose-flavored turkish delight and several other flower-flavored Japanese hard candies my entire life.  And, of course, I’ve been drinking tea with jasmine in it.  I think we just don’t think about flowers as an edible plant.  We eat lots of leaves and seed pods, though.  smile

    Comment by Katrina on 7/01/08 at 11:22 am #
  37. Hi!

    This is my first post to this site, and I’m wondering if the candy bar ‘Big Turk’ is actually
    a version of Turkish Delight? The candy bar itself seems to be very chewy, and not at all like the Turkish Delight in the Narnia movie. I’ve been eating the Big Turk candy bar off and on for the last 30 years, and I can say that it does taste different - I could never pinpoint the flavors in the candy, but now I know that they could be floral! Who knew!:)

    Anyway, since I live in Canada, are there any stores that would carry fresh Turkish Delight?
    I live on the West Coast of Canada, in British Columbia, and I’m not too impressed with the Big Turk candy bar. Any suggestions? Also, I keep reading about a good Turkish Delight recipe, but still have not seen one mentioned in any of the posts. Thanks!

    Comment by Sasha on 7/02/08 at 6:14 am #
  38. Hi , As you will have noticed having read the blog - I made the Turkish Delight for the Narnia film and I guess have some knowledge about the cooking and the tradition of Turkish delight . Any chocolate covered product offered may contain “Turkish Delight”( or something purporting to be ) but chocolate is not part of the traditional offering . Most commercial products are “jellies” of one sort or another made using gelatine ,pectins or other setting agents whereas traditional delight is made without these additives . Unfortunately making in the “Traditional” way is very time consuming , labour intensive and not suited to modern high speed production lines . I have a large collection of recipes and among them a few for traditional manufacture . I will be happy to share one of these on request - just be prepared to set aside 1/2 a day to make with the possibility of disappointment at the end - getting it “just right” is down to experience . Leave me a mail address here and I will send a copy - I am not sure if attaching a file for you to download is possible . We are always on the lookout for potential importers around the world as traditional Delight seems to be a dying art ( too time consuming ) so welcome commercial contacts or interest . It is possible to supply non-commercial buyers as well - freight costs via airmail just tend to be high .

    Hope this helps , cheers , Ross

    Comment by Ross McKenzie on 7/02/08 at 1:05 pm #
  39. I am still looking for a vegan Turkish delight recipe that doesn’t use gelatine. But there is a vegan geletine. If anybody can tell me the brand of any vegan gelatine that would be great!
    Thank You

    Comment by Shreya on 8/04/08 at 12:09 am #
  40. Years ago I found out how luscious Lokum could be and would love to repeat, but I’ve been unable to find a source in the San Francisco Bay Area, though in the past I knew of three.

    I bought some online a few months ago but it was tough and chewy, not like the melt-in-your-mouth fruit paste I remembered.

    Does anyone know how I can buy some of the soft kind?

    Comment by Lionel Gambill on 8/23/08 at 12:16 pm #
  41. Cybele's avatar

    Shreya - have you seen this recipe?


    Real Turkish Delight is actually vegan, there shouldn’t be gelatin in it at all. (It’s just a shortcut that some people use, but it creates a different consistency.)

    Comment by Cybele on 9/09/08 at 12:14 pm #
  42. I will attempt to make turkish delight
    And try again and again until get it right
    How will know when i get it right?

    Comment by lyle dangell on 9/15/08 at 5:03 pm #
  43. The Mediterranean restaurant on Willow Pass Road in Concord (“Park and Shop” center) sells Pistachio/Rose delight (and great falafels, too)

    Comment by FB on 9/17/08 at 6:46 pm #
  44. I first had Turkish Delight many years ago at the home of some Armenian friends.  OMIGOSH!  I was hooked.  I love Turkish Delight and would love to learn how to make it—or at least, not pay an arm and a leg and my firstborn child for it!

    Now, I’m an American, and I love floral flavors.  The first time I tried aplets and cotlets, I thought—Ah! Turkish Delight.  There’s a Syrian filled cookie made with Mahleb and rose water that’s also wonderful.  Americans, wake up to wonderful flavors.  Now…does someone have a really good recipe for Lokum?

    Comment by Joy on 10/28/08 at 10:46 am #
  45. I first had turkish delight at my dentist in Quincy Mass. They are from the middle east region and sometimes had the good stuff on a table. Apparently there’s a shop in Quincy that sells the stuff, Hazer Baba brand. They have a website: http://www.hazerbaba.com

    Comment by Christian Terrio on 11/10/08 at 1:14 pm #
  46. Christian, thank you for that info.  I have a sister who lives in Quincy, and I plan on asking her to find that shop for me. smile  Do you happen to know the name of the shop?

    Comment by Joy on 11/10/08 at 2:13 pm #
  47. I don’t know the name of it because my mother bought it and she can’t remember the name of the store, but she said that its at the corner of Chapman and Hancock, near a Super 88.

    Comment by Christian Terrio on 11/11/08 at 3:46 am #
  48. I grew up on Aplets & Cotlets and C. S. Lewis’ wonderful stories I’ve been trying to find a home recipe for the real thing. Thus far the best I’ve found is the afore mentioned one http://mideastfood.about.com/od/dessertssweetspastries/r/turkishdelight.htm. As for those without the time and/or patience to fiddle around to get the right consistancy, may I suggest the site http://www.tulumba.com who ship the world over

    Comment by heather on 12/18/08 at 11:41 am #
  49. Oh, and if you want a historic background wikipedia has a good timeline. I’m honestly suprised some have had difficulty finding info. I just googled it and got plenty. Anyway, good luck!

    Comment by heather on 12/18/08 at 11:49 am #
  50. Cybele's avatar

    Heather - this blog post is three years old, so some of these comments are from a while back.

    Check out this post about Ross (who comments above) and his Loukoumi Turkish Delight from New Zealand.

    Comment by Cybele on 12/18/08 at 12:01 pm #
  51. my wife and myself were on holiday on the Island of Cyprus and she made the mistake of going into a greek owned shop and asking for some “turkish delight”. After many apologies we beat hasty retreat and I had to tell her why, in the greek half of Cyprus, it is not the done thing to ask for Turkish delight or turkish coffee.

    Comment by dave adams on 12/28/08 at 2:54 am #
  52. I recently tried Turkish Delight for the first time and have fallen head over heals in love.  I just can’t decide if the rose or the lemon is my favorite.  Yummy!  I am glad to see that it can be purchased on line as I am fearful that I may have a difficult time finding it locally.  I am going to request that our local World Market start carrying it!

    Comment by Kelly on 4/20/09 at 3:16 am #
  53. I work @ a Hotel and we have guests from Turkey that stay here when they bring their son to the University campus for classes and when they come to visit him. Every visit since the first or second one they have brought me a gift of turkish delights. Yummy

    Comment by Wendy on 8/23/09 at 7:43 am #
  54. Turkish Delight is not “vegan”, its Muslim.  Sorry.  In Islam, gelatin made of animal products is haram (forbidden) because its mostly made from pork; and Turkey is an Islamic country so they developed a way to create the candy without using gelatin.

    Comment by Daniel on 10/27/09 at 1:41 pm #
  55. Cybele's avatar

    Vegan is not a religious term. It merely means made without any animal products. People can be vegan for religious or non religious reasons.

    Halal or Kosher is different, as it must follow different rules for ingredients and preparation of products.

    As far as I know, Turkish Delight or Loukum was always a jelly candy and not made with gelatin or other animal by-products.

    Comment by Cybele on 10/27/09 at 2:09 pm #
  56. Daniel, vegan just means made without any animal products.  I think traditional Turkish Delight qualifies if you look at it in that light.

    Comment by Joy on 10/27/09 at 2:17 pm #
  57. turkish delight is usualy sold in midle east or greek markets or turkish markets in washington dc. & newyork

    Comment by fikret on 12/25/09 at 3:22 pm #
  58. I grew up with Turkish delight, and I mean the real stuff, the melt in your mouth, lightly flavored (you’re not supposed to feel like you swallowed the whole bottle of rose essence!), lightly dusted “delight” - it truly is a delight, no wonder the English name.

    In that part of the world lokum is a staple in the pantry, because it is not only enjoyed by itself but it’s also used to make other delicious things - sweet breads for Christmas and Easter, filled rolled cookies, etc.

    I also had the chance to see it prepared in the factory, part of my “Candy Technology” class in high-school and the required internship - as Ross repeatedly said above, the process is quite intensive and intuitive, and no, there is no gelatin involved.

    Also, a quality lokum does not go stale for quite a long time if properly stored - I’ve had a pistachio lokum for 2 years in my pantry and it was still fresh tasting although the surface was somewhat dry.

    Occasionally, I’ve found Turkish Delight here in States, mostly in Middle Eastern or Eastern European stores, unfortunately even they import the commercial stuff, the chewy, gelatin laden and, most importantly, chemical color laden stuff - not good eats!

    You say Rose Lokum is the classical flavor - it’s actually more of a color issue than flavor, the red lokum it’s very attractive, you have to admit. There is also the orange one (orange in colour of course and flavor), the green one (pistachio flavor, sometimes with pistachio nuts in it as well), the yellow one (lemon flavor) or the dark red one (pomegranate flavor) etc.

    I’ll let you know if I ever find a place with the real stuff grin

    Comment by Flyingroo on 4/06/10 at 10:32 pm #
  59. I live in Springfield Missouri and I just bought some Turkish Delights GALIL TURKISH DELIGHTS and the box says they are genuine because it doesn’t have any preservatives or additives. It seem like I have read another book that mentions these fantastic treats, but i cannot remember ...maybe The Secret Garden?

    Comment by trish on 10/24/10 at 2:04 pm #
  60. I need to beg to differ regarding Americans and the flavor of flowers at least in New England and especially Maine where we are very British. I lived in the UK for 5 years and saw less flower flavored things than here. Myself, my   mother, her mother, her mother and so on make and made rose jelly, rose geranium jelly and violet jelly as in red currant jelly.

    I grew up on candied violet flavor candies as did my mother, her mother and my husband. One can still buy these jellies at the Autumn fairs and many summer festivals. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love rose Turkish Delight and the lemon is always left over. I also make rose, lavender and violet ice creams.

    Comment by Elizabeth on 4/09/12 at 6:44 pm #
  61. It seems a while since there has been much activity on this continuing dialogue but the last post is one I feel qualified to comment upon . As the only producer represented among the people posting I spend hours at markets , fairs and shows talking with and encouraging/allowing potential buyers to taste our products . While I have not quantified the comments , there are definitely 2 camps Rose lovers and Rose haters ( very few sit on the fence !! ) - In general terms ,people who have been brought up with “flowery” flavours love the Rose we make ,those who dont want to taste product in the main say they dont like the soapy taste of Turkish Delight - Their experience has largely been of the chocolate covered Rose jellies like Frys bars . My personal preference is for something other than the aromatic flavour experience of Rose . Overlaying these comments on the commercial situation , unit sales of Rose remain relatively static while the introduction of other flavours offer customers alternatives they are more familiar with and offer the opportunity for expansion for our brand .
    Heading towards the Indian sub-continent for inspiration , we are just launching a Cardamom and Blackcurrant version which has been well received in tastings at the markets and in the period since this essay was written have also added some other interesting flavours . The Feijoa ( similar to the US Pineapple Guava )fruit grown here provides a very definable , aromatic New Zealand flavoured offering while the Lime and Ginger ( flavoured with cold pressed lime oil and fresh ground dried ginger root ) offers something for those not wanting something quite so sweet .

    The best thing to remember when talking about Turkish Delight is that it is essentially a sweet but flavourless , melt in the mouth ,  soft candy which forms a really good flavour carrier for all sorts of taste experiences . The original recipe has proliferated to many countries and cultures over the centuries ; what is a common flavour in one place is foreign to another and new options are still evolving - enjoy the experience when you can !!

    Comment by Ross McKenzie on 4/10/12 at 1:13 pm #
  62. Dear All,
    I heard to so good comments for your Turkish Experiences. Due to we know that wanted to share to this taste over the world and we produce our urkish Delights under Aladdin Baba’s Turkish Delight.
    If you need more detials pls visit us
    You will find more details about our products.

    Wish a happiness comes from Turkish Delight!

    Aladdin Baba

    Comment by Aladdin Baba's Turkish Delight on 4/28/12 at 4:49 am #
  63. I’ve been searching for a way to store lokum so it doesn’t go stale.  Some friends gave us some to bring home from Turkey, and it’s already starting to harden.  Help!

    Comment by Diane on 7/11/12 at 5:12 am #
  64. hi,

    You can buy easily the first quality Turkish Delight favors on ETSY.


    Comment by ggbytech on 1/06/13 at 6:55 am #
  65. I live and grew up in Seattle and if you want to taste some real Turkish Delight then go to the Pike Place Market. There is a small lunch restaurant called Turkish Delight there that sells the real thing made fresh. They are so good, rose flavored is my favorite. My fiance bought me some last week as a sweet surprise for us to share. We are going to be married in September and we are going to Turkey for our honeymoon. Also Applets and Cottlets are basically Turkish Delight but not made with tidewater. They are more similar to the crappy turkish delights I’ve bought before. I say crappy but the crappy Turkish Delight and applets and cottlets are still good they just aren’t as good as fresh homemade Turkish Delight, which melts in your mouth and is much more moist. Unfortunately the good stuff goes stale after like 4 or 5 days in my experience. The crappy stuff and applets and cottlets last a long time so they probably use a preservative other than sugar.

    Comment by Marisa on 1/18/14 at 5:28 am #
  66. My phone auto-corrected rosewater to tidewater. Stupid phone. raspberry

    Comment by Marisa on 1/18/14 at 5:34 am #
  67. Also any ideas on how to properly store Turkish Delight? That’s why I originally came to this blog article. I’ve tried an air tight container but western Washington has so much moisture in the air that they start getting too moist and stale with after a few days rather than dry and stale, I feel like the East Coast in the summer is probably even worse because it’s so humid.

    Comment by Marisa on 1/18/14 at 5:46 am #
  68. hello i can send türkish delight from turkey its delicios

    Comment by yalcin on 2/17/14 at 2:11 pm #
  69. I grew up in Cashmere, where Aplets & Cotlets are still made.  The candy was developed by Armenian Immigrants as one way to use fruit from their orchard.  If you visit eastern Washington state, stop in Cashmere and tour the factory.  It’s the best way to get them fresh and try samples of the different flavors.  There is a video tour at: https://www.libertyorchards.com/tour
    If I remember correctly, the candy syrup is cooked over steam in big copper kettles which must be how they can make it in less time than the traditional six hours.  A thermometer is involved so my theory is that when making Turkish Delight at home, one would cook it until it reached whatever temperature it is that makes a soft jell stage?

    Also as noted above, they do online orders.

    Comment by Lisa on 3/24/15 at 9:43 am #
  70. I suspect the difference in time of cook between the Aplets and traditional Delight in terms of time might well relate to the chemistry - with fruit in the mix you have pectin as an effective gelling agent where the traditional delight has neither pectin nor gelatine to help the process along . From personal experience the point at which it is ready varies on a day by day basis related to the weather conditions rather than on a straight temperature basis . What the ambient temperature ,relative humidity and barometric pressure readings are all have a bearing on the boiling point and boil off rate for water contained in the mix - I have a weather station in the manufacturing area which gives a good idea on the cook time - then its test test test until it feels “right” regardless of the temperature .

    Comment by Ross McKenzie on 5/16/16 at 5:21 pm #
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Next entry: Manischewitz Frolic Bears

Previous entry: Xocoatl 73.5%
















  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.


    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner






Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.





Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon


Candy Season Ends

-413 days

Read previous coverage



Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter




These candies will be reviewed shortly: