When I was a child, the term "Turkish Delight" was like "Baked Alaska" or "Crepe Suzette," in that it was some kind of fancy food you only heard of in movies and books. In this century, none of those terms are at all familiar to young Americans. For most, the only reference they have to Turkish Delight is in the first book of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In the story, Edmund Pevensie declares it his favorite food, and he willingly betrays his family for some. The book was published in 1950 in England, so readers at the time didn’t need an explanation of what Turkish Delight is.
For kids who weren't already familiar with it, though, "Turkish Delight" was likely to be meaningless – which meant we could project onto it whatever confection seemed most delicious. "I imagined it was better and more sophisticated than anything I had ever tasted, considering that Edmund was willing to sacrifice his entire family for just one more piece," said Coco Langford, who described her childhood vision of Turkish Delight as "rich, but still delicate, chewy and soft, probably like some kind of vanilla or caramel fudge, with just enough nuts to add the perfect crunch."
Jess Zimmerman spoke with quite a few people who had their unique imagined versions of Turkish Delight. Most are far from the truth, as we see in an article at Atlas Obscura that also explains the history and content of the real thing.
(Image credit: Matt Lubchansky)