Turkish Delight | The Daily Dish

BetterRecipes : better recipes - better meals

Turkish Delight

2 Comments | Written on July 9, 2014 at 5:00 am , by

Today we continue our summer travel series with an exotic international destination – Turkey!  As you assemble your travel “bucket list” I highly suggest putting Istanbul near the top.  This cosmopolitan city is a bustling intersection of the world, overflowing with history, stunning beauty, and, of course, spectacular cuisine.

In short, it’s a Turkish Delight…

Keep reading…

Traveling from the US to Turkey is a breeze.  There are comfortable, non-stop flights on Turkish Airlines from several US cities and your on-board experience will be a delight.  The food is fantastic, you will be able to start sampling the lovely Turkish wines, and after a few hours of sleep you will wake up transported to a whole new world.

For many, the first stop is the iconic Hagia Sophia.  This breathtaking structure was once a church, then a mosque and now a museum.

By the way, if you find the thought of navigating around the city intimidating, I highly recommend reaching out to Travel Refinery to be your guide through Istanbul.  With comfortable coaches and knowledgeable guides, you will be able to sit back, relax and absorb everything the city has to offer.  (Ask for Atakan – he’s the best!)

Also, for a centrally located hotel with comfortable rooms, stunning views and an outstanding rooftop restaurant check out the Richmond Istanbul.

This image was taken inside another important stop on a tour of Istanbul, the Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the “Blue Mosque.”  When you look up and see the stunning blue tiles adoring the domes of the interior, the nickname becomes clear.

The two most common questions I was asked after returning from Turkey were:  “Did you feel safe?” and “What was it like there?”

The first answer is easy – Yes, absolutely.  Istanbul felt like any other busy European city, and in many ways, I felt even more safe than I had in other large metropolises.  There were times when I ventured off by myself and I never felt uncomfortable walking alone.

The second answer is more complex.  Istanbul somehow reminds you of other places, while having its own unique and tantalizing flavor.  When I spotted the streetcars (above) with bay windows overlooking the boulevard, there were hints of San Francisco or even New Orleans.

Narrow side streets and window boxes reminded me of southern Italy.

 A cruise on the sparkling blue waters of the Bosphorus was reminiscent of Sydney Harbor.

Or maybe even the French Riviera.

No trip to Istanbul is complete without a few hours of shopping at the Grand Bazaar.  Yes, it will be crowded, filled with tourists and the vendors will shout to get your attention.   It’s all part of the experience.  Go with it and get ready to bargain!

Needless to say, I was laser focused on my shopping experience.  I wanted to find exciting kitchen items and “props” for food photography!  There was stall after stall overflowing with intricate plates and bowls, tea and coffee sets.  There were different levels of quality and some vendors wouldn’t budge as much as I wanted on the price.  No worries, there’s always another place around the next corner.

I finally stumbled upon my favorite – Iznik Works.  After a few minutes of chatting I found out the owner, Ismail Aksahin, used to live in New York not far from me on the Upper West Side.  He invited me to sit down for some tea and conversation, making the experience even more lovely.  I walked away with some beautiful bowls and plates that you will soon see in future recipe photos here on The Daily Dish!

Everywhere you look in Istanbul, someone is selling Turkish Delight.  Sometimes in easy to pack souvenir boxes, and sometimes by the piece in an array of colors and flavors.

When I returned home, I knew I wanted to try making this quintessential dessert from scratch.  Candy making can be a finicky undertaking, but I was excited to give it a try.

I knew I had to start with a recipe from a reliable source, and after a bit of research I found this version from one of the chefs at the Four Seasons.   I loved the flavor combination so I gave it a try!

There was lots of stirring as I kept a careful watch on the candy thermometer.  There was one point where I was convinced I was actually making glue, not candy.

Suddenly, it all came together into a beautiful, bouncy gel that set overnight into delectable squares of Turkish Delight.

As you whet your appetite for a vacation to Istanbul, enjoy a few bites of this “Pomegranate Turkish Delight with Pistachios” and a hot cup of strong Turkish coffee.  Afiyet Olsun!

Follow this link for the full recipe –>  http://dessert.betterrecipes.com/pomegranate-turkish-delight-with-pistachios.html

 

2 Responses to “Turkish Delight”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*