TURKISH DELIGHT

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Istanbul is crammed with colorful shops vying for attention. But the emporia that really snag the eye are those selling pyramids of gelatinous cubes in acidic greens, pinks and reds, dusted with icing sugar. More than mere candy, this Turkish Delight or lokum is a visual and toothsome feast, in a riot of flavors such as rosewater, cherry, orange and apricot, with delicious additions such as cinnamon, ginger and nuts. Today the sweet is also gaining respect from leading restaurants and shops around the world. Most notable is Zeynep Keyman’s Lokum Istanbul store, designed by interiors guru Anouska Hempel. Keyman aims to revive lokum in fashionable circles by placing it in chic boxes adorned with Ottoman Toile de Jouy and fez-like tassels. Basic lokum is made from water, sugar, a stiffening agent, floral ingredients such as rosewater, and flavors ranging from fig to pomegranate. One can see why C.S. Lewis, in The Chronicles of Narnia, chose Turkish delight as the White Witch’s lure for poor Edmund. It is the perfect perfumed temptation. lokumistanbul.com