Another childhood ideal eviscerated by brutal reality

When I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a youngster, Turkish delight sounded like the most heavenly sweet ever devised. I imagined it as similar to caramel or toffee, but subtler and more complex.

Yesterday, I discovered that Turkish delight? Is nothing of the sort. The type I sampled was graciously brought back from a coworker’s vacation and wasn’t even the typical rosewater-flavored version: it was billed as “coconut, lemon, and pistachio,” and the pictures on the box made it look somewhat alluring.

The candy itself was thickly dusted in coconut, which was the predominant flavor when I took my first (and last) bite. A group of coworkers burst out laughing watching my face go from optimistic to revulsed as I desperately tried to equate the gummy mass with anything resembling “lemon” or “pistachio.” When they asked me to describe the flavor, the closest I could come was “It tastes like worms.”

6 Responses to “Another childhood ideal eviscerated by brutal reality”

  1. Ezra says:

    Visit Ezra

    That’ll teach you to trust a Christian.

    I should have pointed you to this:

    At Christmas nearly a decade ago, an aged Englishman gave me a choice gift, one that I’d fantasized about since the age of 7 after reading C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. It was a box of Turkish Delight…And so, with anticipation, I took a bite of the Turkish Delight. And a second later, spat it into my hand. It tasted like soap rolled in plaster dust, or like a lump of Renuzit air freshener: The texture was both waxy and filling-looseningly chewy. This … this? … was the sweetmeat that led Edmund to betray his siblings and doomed Aslan to death on a stone slab?

  2. LLA says:

    Visit LLA

    It’s so funny - I think so many kids had these grand dreams of what Turkish Delight was… I remember thinking that it must be like those little white square candies that you would occasionally receive at Halloween. They were individually wrapped, and a white, chewy nougat thing which were liberally studded with little colorful jelly bits.

    I’m not sure why I thought that’s what it was, since I don’t remember particularly liking them. I think I thought that they were fancy. And kind of special. And they seemed like something that British kids would like… (or at least what an elementary-aged Hillbilly kid *thought* a British kid would like, since it would be years and years before I met anyone who had ever even been to England….)

  3. Ezra says:

    Visit Ezra

    You know, I think I thought it was sort of like an ice cream sundae, but made out of astronaut ice cream and topped with whipped cream. And it tasted slightly of licorice.

  4. 2fs says:

    Visit 2fs

    Lewis (C.S.) was British. That says it all. I believe the definitive word on British candies is Thomas Pynchon’s, somewhere in Gravity’s Rainbow. It’s devastatingly hilarious in its depiction of the horror that is the British confectioner’s craft.

  5. Terri says:

    Visit Terri

    Instead of gastronome, this sounds like gastronot… Does that make you, for braving the unknown, a gastronaut? (Sorry…) You are a braver woman than I.

  6. Editrix says:

    Visit Editrix

    “Gastronaut” is my new favorite neologism!

  7. Sago says:

    Visit Sago

    I value your blog article.Really looking forward to read far more. Really Great.

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