I’m here to revolutionise your Turkish delight experience. When you picture Turkish delight, do you picture those yellow and pink squares of super extra sweetness? Yeah, me too. But then we were introduced to bespoke Turkish delight. It looks like this.
Not what you were expecting, eh?
Alright let me start from the beginning. Before my trip to Istanbul over Easter, I was convinced I didn’t like Turkish delight. It’s just far too sweet for me, and I didn’t really like any of the standard flavours you can get – rose, lemon, pistachio.
But a colleague gave me a very cryptic hint just before I departed. She said, “don’t get the square stuff! Get the rolled stuff!”
I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. All I could think of were those sweet little squares.
So I’m here to demystify things.
Alright, first you need to find somewhere that makes bespoke Turkish delight. I personally recommend Sahi Istanbul, but basically you need to look for a counter with someone who looks like a bespoke Turkish delight maestro working away behind it.
Don’t hesitate. Go straight in! Start counting your spare change because you will want some of this.
How to: Bespoke Turkish Delight
First, you choose your box size. This obviously determines price. The boxes are beautiful and wooden, so make a great gift.
They have all different kinds of dried fruits displayed in those jars by the boxes – cranberries, raisins, apricots and more. Then by the front of the counter they have little bowls of nuts. We’ve got walnuts, hazlenuts, pistachios. Then further on in the fridge they have fresh ingredients like Turkish cream, chocolate paste and pomegranate seeds.
Once you’ve picked your filling, you choose an outside. These are all made from cornflour so are entirely gluten free. You can have plain with powdered sugar, coconut coated, or rose petal coated.
I chose the plain with powdered sugar with Turkish cream, chocolate paste and pomegranate seeds. It was an inspired choice, I have to say.
The Turkish cream is very thick and sweet, it’s almost like buttercream icing. Delicious. That went on first…
Then the chocolate was piped on…
Then the fresh pomegranate seeds…
Next it was rolled and sealed by pressing the edges together, before being snipped away from the rest of the sheet…
Then it was snipped into individual pieces (with an implement that looks worryingly like sheep shearers) and rolled in more powdered sugar…
Before being presented beautifully in my box of choice.
I was so excited at this point that I insisted on having my photo taken with the bespoke Turkish delight maestro. He was so friendly!
It was all finished and tied beautifully with string…
Before being bagged up for us to take away.
They didn’t last long, I have to say, because they were absolutely delicious. I am now a Turkish delight convert – but the bespoke stuff. The rolled stuff. You get the idea.
If at this point you think I’ve definitely been paid by Sahi to talk them up; I haven’t. I just had such a great experience there I’d like to share it all with you. They’re such friendly people who work there, and they support local businesses through their shop which sells all sorts of amazing homewares and snacks:
You can dine there too; see their website for menu details. Sadly we didn’t have time to, but we heard a couple who were obviously on a private tour at one of the tables. So it’s officially a hidden gem!
Address: Kemankes Kara Mustafa Pasa Mah., Kilic Ali Pasa Mescit Sok. No:2, Karakoy (34425 Beyoğlu / İstanbul)
Be aware that the Turkish delight containing fresh ingredients will only last 3 days, so it may not be the best to take back to friends and family. The dried fruit and nuts will however last for up to 3 weeks.
Our small wheel cost around 40TL (I can’t remember the exact price, my bad) which is about £10. No, it’s not the cheapest. But it’s by far the best we found.
Have you ever had rolled bespoke Turkish delight?
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