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Turkish delight, one of the traditional flavors of Turkish cuisine, is a Turkish dessert that is consumed everywhere in addition to Turkish coffees, on during Ramadan days, and Mevlid, and is a culturally important motif of Turkish culture. Here is all about Turkish delight from A to Z.
History of Turkish Delight
The history of Turkish delight, which is one of the important tastes of Ottoman palace cuisine, dates back to ancient times. It is estimated that the “abhisa” dessert consumed by the Sassanids, who ruled in Iran between 226 and 652 BC, is the origin of the delight.
In the Ottoman Period, the name “Rahat-ul hulkum “, which means relieving the throat, was used for Turkish delight. The era when Turkish delight became popular in Anatolia corresponds to the 15th century. It was known all over Anatolia and entered Turkish cuisine in the 17th century. The first mass production of Turkish delight, which is famous all over Anatolia and spread to the other side of the world in the bags of European travelers around 1777.
When lokum was first made, it was produced by adding honey, fruit syrup and flour. Later, with the introduction of starch and refined sugar into the kitchens, the taste of Turkish delight has changed and reached to what it is today. Today, many types of Turkish delights appealing to many tastes are produced.
Preparation of Turkish Delight
Turkish delight is made by mixing sugar, starch, food coloring, citric acid and aroma. Making Turkish delight is a talent that requires skill and patience. The preparation of the delight is as follows;
- First, sugar is boiled until dissolved in water.
- Citric acid and starch are kept in another bowl until sugar dissolves.
- Starch and citric acid mixture and sugar water are mixed together and boiled over low heat for a while.
- The time to boil and the consistency of the mixture are entirely up to the skill of the master.
- The fluid mixture is poured into iron containers and kept waiting for 20 hours.
- At the last stage, the delights are shaped and packaged.
Turkish Delight Types
Every region has its own kind of Turkish delight or also known as Lokum in Turkey. Some delight varieties that appeal to many tastes are;
Hazelnut Turkish Delight, Double Roasted Turkish Delight, Bird Delight, Walnut Delight, Pistachio Turkish Delight, Lemon Delight, Mint Turkish Delight, Pomegranate Turkish Delight, Saffron Turkish Delight, Chocolate Turkish Delight, Coconut Turkish Delight, Fruit Turkish Delight, Rose Leaf Turkish Delight and dozens of other delight types that we cannot count.
Nutritional Values of Turkish Delight
In 100 grams of basic Turkish delight contains 0.23 grams of protein, 0.19 grams of fat, 89.25 grams of carbohydrates, 19 mg of potassium, 5 mg of calcium and 1 mg of iron.
What are the Benefits of Turkish Delight?
Turkish delight has many benefits for the human body and health, here are a few of them;
- It is beneficial in preventing tonsillitis.
- Its carbohydrate content is beneficial for kidney patients.
- It is beneficial in healing skin problems such as wounds and scars.
- It affects the protection and strengthening of teeth.
How to Serve Turkish Delight?
Every dessert from Turkish cuisine has a way of serving. Like the desserts eaten on important days, Turkish delight is served between handkerchiefs on holidays or served alongside Turkish coffee in daily life. Turkish delight is distributed to the congregation after the prayer halls in mosques on nights that are sacred to Muslims.
Is It Harmful To Eat Too Much Turkish Delight?
When you over consume even the most useful foods, they will start to be harmful. Turkish delight should not be consumed too much and its dosage should always be adjusted depending on your age and health status.