Contentment of the Throat

A sweet and short story of Turkish Delights

From James Joyce’s Ulysses and C. S Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to the Broadway musical, Kismet, Turkish delight has long been celebrated in stories and songs. Among its most famous devotees rank luminaries such as Pablo Picasso, Winston Churchill and Napoleon, who is said to have been particularly partial to pistachios in his Turkish delights. 

Turkish Delight, for more than 500 years, has been a favourite of royalty from the shores of the Bosphorus to the banks of the Thames and today continues to delight palates around the world with its uniquely exotic flavour. 

Authentic Turkish delight is made from sugar syrup mixed with cream of tartar that is then cooked with corn starch and continuously stirred until it reaches a molasses-like consistency after which is allowed to cool cut into first strips, and then into the familiar cubes. 

A trip to Turkey wont be complete unless you try at least one of them. But that would become a challenge, since only one piece is almost impossible. Turkish sellers know about this hard-to-resist condition and master it to perfection. This is why at any bazaar or store where they sell these pieces of joy, they will offer them to you, since that would become an instant sell. Also, I would consider it, just as coffee, as a national symbol. If you are flying Turkish Airlines (and no passenger is allergic to peanuts) they will welcome you on board also with these tiny pleasures. 

Its rich heritage is captured in every succulent morsel of Turkish Delight, known in Turkey as “lokum rahat” or “contentment of the throat”. This unique gourmet tradition includes more than a dozen varieties ranging from classics like pistachio, rose, lemon and mastica to more adventurous varieties including cinnamon, Turkish coffee and ginger. 

As one of my favourite Turkish delight brand, Divan, says, “they are guarantee to delight the sultan in you”. 

Some other bites you might also enjoy:

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar & Spice Market 

Turkey in Pictures

Turkish Coasts: Homer’s land

 In the first day morning of the muslim festival of sacrifices (Eid al Adha), while the Sultan returns to the seraglio from celebrations, after he gets off the state carriage (if before times from the horse) seven animals are sacrificed with ceremony. After the Sultan steps the steppingstone,the chamberlain of treasury who is waiting ready there, steps forward and shows the ornamented booklet of sacrifice prayer to the Sultan and a servant reads it. And right after, the chamberlain also shows three ornamented, silvery velvet scabbared knives and his excellency takes one of them and gives to the servants dutied to sacrifice the animals. After that the Sultan returns to his seraglio room without witnessing sacrifice ceremony and cutting and the meat from the sacrifices are given out to public.
 Kurban bayramlarında padişah için bayramın birinci günü sabahı, hünkârın merasimden saraya dönüşü sırasında arabadan (daha önceleri ise attan) inişinden sonra merasim ile 7 kurban kesilirdi. Padişahın binek taşına inmesini takiben orada bulunan hazine kethüdası ilerleyerek yanında getirdiği süslü kitabeli kurban duasını hünkâra gösterdikten sonra bir memura verip okutur, daha sonra Kethüda Bey sanatkârların yaptığı gümüşlü kadife mahfazalı üç süslü bıçak getirerek padişaha gösterir ve hünkâr bu bıçaklardan birini alarak kurbanların kesilmesine memur edilen kimseye uzatırdı. Kurbanın kesiliş anında orada bulunmayan Padişah dairesine geçer ve bu esnada kurbanlar kesilip dağıtımı yapılırdı.