Turkish Delight: Enjoy food on vacation

Turkish delight

Turkish delight is a wonderful treat you’ll find all over Turkey. We were surprised it came in a million different flavors! Kids will enjoy this unique treat.

Collage of photos about Turkey

Getting the kids ready for a trip means telling them what they’ll see to get them interested !  Food is always a great place to start. Do you have jelly bean lovers in your house? They’ll love the story of Turkish delight and enjoy tasting the candy.


Ask them which they like better? Jelly beans or Turkish delight? This would be a great time to practice those math skills and make a bar graph of which flavor is liked the most!

Graph - Jelly beans or turkish delight?

Turkish Delight: The Story Behind the Candy

Once upon a time there was a sultan (the kids will know the one in the Disney movie Aladin) who had many wives. The wives often argued and he wanted to put a stop to that! So, as he felt that the way to a woman’s heart is through her stomach, he asked his chef to create a new and wonderful treat.

Chef creating Turkish delight

After much experimentation, the chef put together sugar, nuts, flavorings, and a chewy gum, covered it with powdered sugar and voila! Turkish Delight. Peace fell upon the sultans harem! The sultan was so happy that he promoted the chef to Court’s Chief Confectioner. Thereafter the sweet treat was served at all the feasts in the sultan’s court.

Turkish Delight: Loved the world over!

Years later while traveling in Turkey, a British traveler fell in love with the turkish treat and purchased cases of it to ship home. In Turkey it was called rahat lokoum but the traveler thought Turkish delight was a better name and it stuck!

Supposedly famous candy lovers like Picasso (ate it daily for concentration), Winston Churchill, and Napoleon all loved it! So, does eating this Turkish treat = greatness? Well, it is a tough experiment, but I think we’ll give it a try! 🙂

Varieties of Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight: What does it taste like?

Turkish delight has the texture of the chewy insides of jelly beans and comes in almost as many flavors! No one knows for sure the origin of the jelly bean, but it is generally thought that it comes from the marriage of Turkish delight (chewy insides) and the a dragee like Jordan almonds (think crunchy outside).

Would you like to make some at home? Use food to get everyone excited about a trip! Find a recipe here. 

Turkish Delight: Where can you get it?

In Instanbul, you can buy turkish delight literally anywhere. It is in almost every single tourist shop and it is often on breakfast buffets – the less sweet breakfast version. Pop in and buy one of each to try all the flavors.


One hotel, the Sirkeci Mansion, has it on the bed for a nice treat.

Turkish delight - Sirkeci Mansion

Trying local food is part of the adventure! I love to come home with a new recipe ‘souvenir’ from each vacation! With so much wonderful food in Turkey it was hard to choose just one recipe to try at home!


The Educational Tourist at Bosphorus Strait, www.theeducationaltourist.comIf Turkey is a destination on your list you’ll enjoy these related posts:

Turkey – Tea is a lovely custom and a part of every day

Turkey for women – Is covering your head necessary?

Turkey – Photo Essay

Turkey – Why do people think this country is Arab?

Happy and tasty travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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17 Responses

  1. Libby says:

    Very interesting!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    Loved this blog. Who knew! I took a cooking class on Turkish food. Though we didn’t have time to make any, our teacher (a native of Turkey) provided some for us to taste. Yum yum!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      How fun! Interesting how much Turkish food is influenced by the Roman/Byzantine and Ottoman empires. What flavor was the turkish delight? I hear it comes a gazillion different ways!

  3. Indrani says:

    That is interesting story about how it was made!
    I am yet to taste this and after reading your post I am eager. 🙂

  4. Natasha says:

    Yum this candy looks delicious. When I went to Turkey I never tried any of this sadly. I will need to return and try your suggestions

  5. Gareth says:

    I have to say, I’m not really much of a fan of Turkish delight. My girlfriend however, very much is and i was filling her in with little factoids as I was reading this post! Certainly, it’s incredible how a food can be a kind of edible microcosm for the anthropological history of a location. Very much enjoyed

  6. gobeyondbounds says:

    Our kiddo is still young but we are sure soon we would also need to weave such stories to make future trips interesting and fascinating for her. From your post and the pictures seems like Turkish delight would really be a delight to taste. We would definitely give it a try whenever we make a visit to Turkey.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      It is not to everyone’s taste of course but fun to try new things!! Anything sweet is usually easy to get the kids to try!

  7. asoulwindow says:

    I have never been to Turkey. This looks great. I have been to Jordan and the culture seems to be having lot of similarities. I loved the interesting story behind the name Turkish Delight. If Churchill loved it, then it better be good!

  8. rhiydwi says:

    Turkish Delight is the worst! I’ve never ever understood how people could like the taste, but it was actually one of my mother’s favourites so I suppose it can’t be THAT bad. Despite my own personal avoidance (I get very passionate about food hahaha) of the stuff, I found the story behind its in invention super fascinating! I remember being a kid and asking my mother why it’s called Turkish delight but she didn’t know so made up some random story. Now in the future if my niece or nephews ask me, I’ll be able to tell them!

  9. I did not know any of this about Turkish delight! Now that I understand, I want to try every single flavor!! With it’s nougat like appearance, I had no idea it was comparable to a jelly bean! Very interesting!

  10. Swati Sam says:

    After reading this, I so want to have a Turkish Delight. The sweets sure look yum. I would love to have some as I love jelly beans. 🙂

  11. Bhusha says:

    I didn’t know of Turkish Delight till I watched Chronicles of Narnia Lion Witch & Wardrobe! Since then I’ve been wanting to taste it! Thanks for this idea of what it consists of actually!

  1. August 29, 2017

    […] Turkish Delight – What is the Origin of this amazing Food? […]

  2. September 15, 2017

    […] Turkish Delight – Origins! […]

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