I too had the most extreme desire to try Turkish Delight after reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I too probably would have been surprised to taste anything close to real Turkish Delight:
Here’s what it really is: a starch and sugar gel often containing fruit or nuts and flavored with rosewater, citrus, resin, or mint. The texture is gummy and sticky, some of the flavors are unfamiliar to American palates, and the whole thing is very, very sweet.
Now, I should add, I have since had a chance to try rose-flavored Turkish Delight, possibly this brand or something similar, and I liked it a lot even though super-sweet things are not necessarily my favorite. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of rose-flavored confections. Possibly as an inexperienced child I might have been less keen on flavors like that than I am now.
Now, here is what Jess Zimmerman was inspired to do: I set out to discover what Americans imagined when they read about Turkish Delight. What kind of candy did we think would inspire a boy to betray his brothers and sisters? … Their answers spanned a whole range of sweet treats—and some surprises.
Click through to read all the rhapsodic visions of what Turkish Delight ought to be.