October 13, 2006
Narnia's Turkish Delight

Friday night I saw the movie Narnia for the first time. Last year it was the long-awaited movie released during Christmas that everyone wanted to see on the big screen.

When we were first married (around 14 years ago) and were dorm parents at a small Christian boarding school in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, my husband would read to me his favorite books that he enjoyed in his youth. The seven books in the series of the Chronicles of Narnia were written by one of my husband's favorite authors, C. S. Lewis. When Danny talks of the movie he loves to walk me through the details from the book, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. He's impressed by the way Walt Disney followed the story closely.

Lucy is the first to discover the land of Narnia by entering into an old wardrobe filled with winter coats. Edmund discovers it next. When he goes there he quickly meets the evil White Witch. She gave him a goblet filled with a hot drink. He gladly accepts and drinks. Then she told him she could cause to appear anything he would want to eat. Edmund wanted Turkish Delight.

An interesting event occurred after the release of Narnia. According to a news story reported by Susan Reilly on February of this year, sales of Turkish Delight had a sharp increase after Narnia came to the big screen. People in England have been familiar with the candy for years but for American's it has been newly discovered.

According to legend, it's been told that Turkish Delight was created hundreds of years ago by order of a sheik who needed something to keep peace in his harem.

Reilly interviewed some children who tried the Turkish Delight. Third graders at McDonough elementary School in Manchester, New York were asked to taste the confection and had differing opinions afterwords. Here's what they said:

" I didn't like it because it tasted kind of like strawberryish and bananas…it tastes like a pink something, I don't know. It tasted like jelly from a jelly fish…I liked the candy because it tasted sweet…I didn't really like it that much.. I didn't like the candy. It doesn't have much taste to it. I like the candy a lot. It tastes like strawberry with whipped cream.
Ms Upham, their teacher wasn't that fond of this new treat either. Ms. Reilly, the reporter from the New Hampshire Public Radio station, described it in the following manner, "I did not like the candy. I thought it tasted like dish soap." Finally, after all the dislikes, there was Timothy. He said that he would make any deal with a witch for more Turkish Delight. "It's the greatest candy I ever had. . .I think it tasted like grape jelly mixed with frosting and a type of cherry gummy bears mixed into it."

Oh, I haven't mentioned an important detail yet. Most American aren't used to roses flavoring their food. The original recipe requires rose water to flavor the filling. Here is the recipe if your curious about how to make it from a website called Country Mom.com:
Turkish Delight

5 tablespoons Cornstarch
1/2 cup warm Water
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon Cream of tartar
* 1 teaspoon flavoring
* 1 cup Chopped nuts
1 box powdered sugar

* flavoring can be rosewater, lemon juice, strawberry, or raspberry extract

* your choice of nuts - almonds, pistachio nuts, walnut or hazelnut

1. Stir the cornstarch into warm water until it is well mixed and not lumpy. Set aside.

2. In a saucepan mix water and orange juice. When the mixture is warm add sugar. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil.

3. Turn heat down. Add cornstarch and cream of tartar. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.

4. Remove from heat and add flavoring. Some like to add a hint of food coloring to match the flavor, but that is up to you :-)

5. Mix in nuts of your choice.

6. Pour into a lightly oiled, shallow square pan. Chill in refrigerator overnight.

7. When cooled, cut into squares. Use a knife dipped in hot water to make the cutting easier.

8. Roll in powered sugar.

You can store the squares in a plastic containers sprinkled with powdered sugar to prevent sticking.


“The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very center and Edmond and never tasted anything more delicious.

There are also websites that sell the candy such as Tulumba.com. They offer a variety of flavors such as

hazelnut
mint
mixed
rose and lemon
pistachio
orange

There are also pictures of the candy on the site.

Posted by Linda at October 13, 2006 09:44 PM

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