The confectionery that has come to be known as Turkish delight is one of the oldest sweets in the world, dating back to the Ottoman Empire some 600 years ago. It first hit English shores in the 19th century, and soon after the UK's love affair for this sweetly-scented delicacy was born.
Nowadays there's a myriad of reputable brands producing authentic and delicious Turkish delight recipes, such as Hazer Baba, Chateau de Mediterranean and Mr Stanley's. You can find all of their finest flavours available to buy online from supermarkets like Amazon, eBay, Tesco and Asda, but lucky for you we've already done the groundwork by picking out the very best of them. We hope you're hungry!
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From this simple buying guide, you'll come to know a few of the important and central parts to a perfect piece of Turkish delight. And in the process, it'll help you decide between the prestigious Turkish delights and the cheaper chocolate-coated classics. They both have their rightful place in our homes and lives, it just depends on who and when it's for!
All Turkish delight is created from a blend of starch and sugar, thus forming the base of its soft and gel-like texture. However, within the vast Turkish delight range, you can find a few different varieties that are all as delicious as each other but cater to specific palates and dietary requirements.
This classic form of Turkish delight benefits from having a wide range of flavours. From the ever-popular rose to lemon, orange, strawberry, fig, mint, pomegranate and even ginger, there's an option to suit everyone's palate.
It really comes down to personal preference when choosing flavour of Turkish delight, but if you're unsure, rose is a sure-fire hit and a good starting point.
All of these Turkish delight flavours are then coated in a thick layer of icing sugar to allow for a less sticky tin-to-mouth process, while also giving an added sweetness and appeal.
There's no denying chocolate accompanies Turkish delight in the most delectable of ways, making it pretty obvious why one of the nation's most cherished Turkish delights is, in fact, coated in chocolate.
Fry's Turkish Delight was invented in 1914, and shortly after in 1919 they merged with Cadbury's to create a stronghold of British Turkish delight culture. It has undoubtedly become the UK's favourite Turkish delight where it has been cemented in the history books for over 100 years.
Today, there are many companies coating Turkish delight in chocolate, so you'll be able to choose between milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or sometimes both. While rose is the typical chocolate pairing, you could also look for lemon or orange flavours, which, of course, go beautifully with chocolate too.
The last – but certainly not least – style of Turkish delight to consider are those which include nuts and other crunchy coatings.
The most common nut pairing is pistachio, but you can also find walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds. The coatings of these treats can also include coconut, barberries, sesame seeds, rose petals and even crushed dates so you'll have lots of choice.
These nuts, dates and other add-ins can be mixed through in solid chunks or diced so finely that they're used as a crumble topping. This gives the Turkish delight a more interesting texture and an irresistible appearance, ideal for wowing family members as a show-stopping present.
A 2018 study revealed that 7% of people in the UK now follow a vegan diet, while an additional 14% of us are vegetarian. With more and more people choosing a meat-free lifestyle, food groups are following suit, and in turn, the vegan food market is becoming a lucrative business.
Turkish delight, or 'Lokum' as it's known in Turkey, is historically a vegan product by default. However, in more recent times, commercial brands have added gelatine to their recipes to aid the cooking and forming processes. This makes taking a look through the ingredients a worthy task if you are veggie or vegan.
Another one to look out for if you're vegan is the chocolate coating that is a common addition to many Turkish delights. You can find dark chocolate varieties, but even so, be sure to check that no milk derivatives have found their way into the coating.
With so many Turkish delights being bought and gifted as presents, it's important to take any allergies and dietary requirements into consideration – not just for your own safety, but also the safety of whoever may pinch a sneaky piece when presented with the opportunity.
The most common allergens associated with Turkish delight are nuts, sesame, milk, gluten, eggs and soya. These can be found in even the simplest of Turkish delight classics – recipes you would assume to be completely free of allergens.
This is because a lot of them are produced in the same factories as other nuttier confectionaries and chocolates. So, it's always best to check the finer print when choosing for a family member or friend with a serious allergy.
Turkish delight is a confectionery that brings about a degree of prestige. That's why high-quality Turkish delight lends itself toward the slightly more refined members of the family. Plus, due to its age, it can remind even the oldest family members of their own childhood treats.
Many brands have packaged their Turkish delights in delightfully-designed boxes, making for a perfect present that's ready to go. Whether it's a tin, a wooden drum or cardboard, you can have faith in a gift-boxed Turkish delight bringing a smile to your Granny's dial.
Another huge benefit of these gift boxes is they will typically have a wider selection of flavours to choose from. This could be different flavours like rose, orange and lemon or a super-nutty selection, either way, they're a great option if variety is the spice of your giftee's life.
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Assorted Turkish Delight Sweets in Wooden Drum
Naughty and Nutty Rose and Lemon Delights Housed in a Unique Wooden Drum
Turkish Delight Assorted Gourmet Dessert Gift Box
An Enticing and Authentic Taste of Istanbul
Chateau de Mediterranean
Assorted Turkish Delight Mix Gourmet Gift Box Tin
A Seriously-Stacked Assortment of Deliciously-Rich Turkish Delight
Delicate Rose & Lemon Turkish Delight
A Delightfully-Delicate Rose and Lemon Flavoured Treat
Everyone's Favourite Turkish Delight Chocolate Bar by Fry's
Rose and Lemon Turkish Delight in a Hexagonal Box
Two Classic Flavours of Rose and Lemon Coated in a Thick Layer of Icing Sugar
Beech's Fine Chocolate
Beech's Turkish Delight
Rose-Flavoured Delights Wrapped in Silky-Smooth Milk Chocolate Coating
Original Turkish Delight Fantasy Mix
A Fantasy Selection Box to Keep You Guessing and Enchanted
Chocolate Favourite Flavours Turkish Delight
Rose Turkish Delights Generously Covered in Milk and Dark Chocolate
Rose Luxury Turkish Delight
A Classic All-Rose Affair From a Popular Turkish Brand
Does it get any more authentic than Hazer Baba and their Turkish delights packaged in wooden gift boxes? These tantalising classics of rose and lemon have pistachio, hazelnut and almond mixed through them to create the perfect pairing of chewy, soft and smooth.
Hazar Baba have been creating world-leading Turkish delight since their inception in 1888, being firmly cemented in prestige and authenticity with all the right modern touches. These vegan, gluten-free and undeniably delicious Turkish delights will have you coming back time and time again.
This gift box of assorted Turkish delight is as authentic as it gets, and will transport you to the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul with each unique piece of Turkish delight history.
The handsome gift tin contains an assortment of four Turkish delight flavours including fig, strawberry, rose and pomegranate. These delicious flavours have chunks of hazelnut, pistachio and walnut mixed through them, with additional toppings generously lathered on top, making for a gorgeously-crunchy experience with every memorable bite.
This assorted tin gift box boasts a staggering five different Turkish delight flavours. From the more popular rose, orange and lemon to the lesser-known pomegranate and mint, you can certainly enhance your Turkish delight palate with this one.
All five flavours are also 100% vegan, gluten-free and Halal considered. Boasting 500 grams of decadent, mouth-watering treats, it's little wonder why this is one of the most popular Turkish delight gift boxes on Amazon today.
Mr Stanley's have created two exquisitely-delicate Turkish delight flavours in this assorted gift box. Their rose and lemon treats are soft and subtle, allowing for a seriously seductive moment of Turkish delight heaven.
This box is another very well-priced option, ensuring that it's the gift that keeps on giving right up until it does not. The Mr Stanley's branding on the gift box also lends itself well to their motto of escaping the ordinary and embracing the extraordinary.
Probably the first Turkish delight everyone in the UK has and will try for forever more, this classic rose-flavoured, milk chocolate coated bar of memory-inducing goodness has been around for over 100 years.
Its recipe is now cleverly made without gelatine, making it suitable for veggies to enjoy. This little saver pack of 3 bars for £1 is also as cheap as you'll find it anywhere, so why not stock up on a few and be everyone's favourite Turkish-delight-wielding friend?
Truede have truly outdone themselves with these classically-paired rose and lemon Turkish delights dusted in icing sugar. They are by all accounts sweet, soft and irresistibly delicious, while the floral gift box gives it a certain eye-catching appeal.
They're also reasonably-priced for 300 grams of good-quality Turkish delight and are 100% vegan and gluten-free. The only thing to consider is they're produced in the same factory as products containing peanut and sesame.
This small gift box is an ideal present for the Turkish delight and chocolate lovers alike, consisting of 20 small pieces of rose-flavoured Turkish delight completely coated in Beech's finest milk chocolate.
It's a case of style over substance with this one though, as it ticks all the boxes in terms of taste, appearance and texture, but you just don't get a lot of it. All things considered, it'll still make any recipient as smitten as kittens.
This selection gift box will have any and all Turkish delight enthusiasts enthralled. It boasts four different flavours including, banana, strawberry, pistachio and walnut, making for an eclectic and delectable mix.
It's also completely vegan, making it an ideal present for the meat-free warriors in your life. It does, however, contain gluten and of course plenty of nuts, so be wary of that. The only hitch to be found is that a few tasters weren't quite convinced by its texture, though most found its flavours very pleasing on the palate.
Thornton's are a reputable chocolate company that create many moreish products. This is their gift-boxed rose Turkish delight which has been coated in a rich and creamy milk chocolate with a touch of dark chocolate drizzled across the top.
This makes for an irresistibly bountiful amount of chocolate to accompany the bite-size bits of Turkish delight. Although delicious, there is a common thread among reviewers, exclaiming that for the price, you get a less-than-desired amount of Turkish delight. So, if you're after value for money, this might not be one for you.
Bodrum is a Turkish delight brand that prides itself on Turkish-made confectionery for less. This is their all-rose classic Turkish delight, which has been coated in a thinner-than-usual layer of icing sugar.
It's a real bargain at £1.50, making it the cheapest per 100 g of all the recommendations on this list. This product has divided reviewers though, with some saying it tastes like the real Turkish deal and others commenting on the taste and texture and lack of real rose flavour. We guess you'll have to judge it for yourself!
Fancy whipping up a batch of your very own Turkish delight? This easy recipe in its classic rose-flavoured form uses only a handful of simple ingredients, so you have the option of keeping it simple or experimenting with alternative add-ins.
The ingredients are:
Food is an ever-growing process of discovery, so now that you're versed in all things Turkish delight, it's time to delve into the world of chocolate treats. Who knows, you could end up finding something new and exciting, or just relish in the fact that your favourite sits comfortably at number one. Either way, it's worth taking the time to explore and expand your foodie horizons.
Turkish delight has been a stronghold of British sweet-tooth society for near on centuries. We hope that you carry on this British/Turkish delight love affair and have found a new favourite or two from this insanely stacked list!
Author: Connor Macanally
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