Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight is a sweet made from starch and sugar. It is often flavored with rosewater or lemon, the former giving it a pale pink color. It has a soft, sticky consistency, and is often packaged in small cubes dusted with sugar to prevent sticking. Some recipes include small nut pieces, usually pistachio, hazelnut or walnuts.
Here’s one version of its origin: In the late 1700s Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir, confectioner to the imperial court in Istanbul, heard the Sultan complain about hard candy. He mixed water, sugar, corn starch, cream of tartar and rosewater, cooked it up, poured the mixture into a flat pan slicked with almond oil, and let it cool. Then he sprinkled it with powdered sugar, cut it into bite-sized chunks and soft candy was born. It was called rahat lokum (comfortable morsel), now called lokum, or Turkish Delight, and was an instant hit, especially at the palace. Ali Muhiddin became a celebrity overnight as royalty came to buy boxes of Turkish Delight. Over the centuries Ali Muhiddin's descendants (the shop is still owned and run by the family) fiddled with the recipe, adding things like walnuts, pistachios, oranges, almonds, clotted cream, and chocolate. The plain rosewater original is still a favorite. Lokum was introduced to the west in the 19th century; An unknown Briton became fond of it during his travels to Istanbul, and purchased cases to be shipped back to Britain under the name Turkish Delight. It became a major delicacy throughout Europe.
It is one of the oldest sweet dishes in the world, dating back over 200 years.