Snapshots from the UK: Turkish Delight


When I was a little girl, the Turkish Delight existed only as a fictional confection in the winter wonderland of Narnia's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I asked every adult I knew if they could tell me what Turkish Delight was, that sugary sensation that led Edmund to betray his family and country in order to live with the murderous White Witch. But no one knew—so I conceded that it was a delicious figment of C. S. Lewis's imagination.

I waited until I was twenty-four years old to taste Edmund's Adam's apple. And then I found it, behind the glass of a British sweets shop, plump and dusted in a White Witch's snow shower of sugar.

For those like me, who lived in ignorance, Turkish Delight is a soft jelly candy, squares of squishy rose and lemon. The sweet inner gushing bite is tempered by the not-quite-sweet starchy outer sugar that, like a pleasant detergent, washes the cloying syrupiness away. There's something about it that always reminds me of a prim and happy and bright English Christmas. Not exactly worth betrayal and treason, but good enough to justify the sugar-snow mustache.

Turkish Delight: Does it still live in your imagination, or have you tried it? And if the latter, did it live up to your childhood expectations?