It has been said that Turkish Delight was invented in the latter part of the 1700s, when a Turkish sultan’s rantings were overheard by a confectioner named Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir, who was part of Istanbul’s imperial court.
The Sultan was growling that he had no more desire for hard candy, after cracking one of his teeth while eating a sourball. He demanded for a softer type of candy.
The confectioner was challenged by the demand, and sprung into instant action. Cooking up a mixture of water, corn starch, sugar, rosewater and cream of tartar, he laid it on a pan that was slicked with almond oil, and sprinkled the treat with powdered sugar. Then, he cut it into bite-sized pieces.
The treat, which is now more commonly referred to as lokum, short for “rahat lokum” or “comfortable morsel,” made its creator a celebrity overnight. It can actually still be bought at the Ali Muhiddin’s shop in Eminönü, 250 years after it was first introduced.
Turkish Delight is also sold all throughout the country. It can be enjoyed with coffee or Turkish tea.
Tabbouleh is a healthy vegetarian Turkish dish. It is a combination of delicious ingredients, including bulgur, tomato paste, green onions, onion, parsley, lemon juice, cumin, tomato, pepper, paprika, pomegranate syrup, fresh mint leaves and olive oil.
The dish is actually easy to prepare, so you may want to take home a touch of Turkey with you by learning how to cook this delicious dish.
Kunafa has been dubbed as the most popular dessert in the whole Arab world. The treat indeed looks enticing, and once you have tasted it, you will understand why many people still buy this even during the hardest economic times.
This traditional dessert is often served during happy events and celebrations, such as graduations, engagement parties, weddings and christenings.
Kunafa is also served during sad occasions such as during the dinner after a burial ceremony.
Manti is a kind of a Turkish dumpling composed of a meat mixture with spices. The mixture is wrapped in a dough wrapper, and then steamed or boiled.
The shredded meat used can be either that of quail or chicken, but there are some regions in the country where they serve bos manti or “empty dumpling.”
The dumpling is typically served topped with yogurt and garlic. Other ingredients – such as red pepper powder, ground sumac and melted butter, depending on the preference of the person who will eat it – are often included for added taste.
Hot Turkish tea
Wherever you go in Turkey, you will find people indulging in the country’s most favored drink, namely Turkish tea.
This can be served black, strong or piping hot. It is often served by locals to their guests.
This may be the reason why Turkey has been tagged as the fifth largest tea drinking country in the world.