Turkish delight or lokum is a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios, and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel; traditional varieties are often flavored with rosewater, mastic, Bergamot orange, or lemon. The confection is often packaged and eaten in small cubes dusted with icing sugar, copra, or powdered cream of tartar, to prevent clinging. Other common flavors include cinnamon and mint. In the production process, soapwort may be used as an emulsifying additive.
The history of the origin of Turkish Delight dates back to the beginning of the Ottoman Empire. Legend has it that the court pastry was ordered to invent a new delicacy. The food he had prepared earlier turned out to be too hard to taste to such an extent that the sultan broke a tooth on him. Disobedience threatened execution. Throughout the night, the cook worked to create a soft sweetness, and in the morning the pastry cheer heard surprised shouts. A new, unprecedented dessert, came to taste the Sultan and his courtiers. After that, the confectioner continued his experiments and made up other recipes.
Translated from the Arab “Turkish delight” means “tasty, convenient pieces.” There is another version of the legend – there are suggestions that the Sultan treated his many women with this oriental dessert.