The Big Turk Redefined

09th February 2011, in Desserts, North Shore, Tips & Techniques, USE IT, Vancouver (0 Comments)

Here’s something I’m going to try for Valentine’s Day – homemade Big Turks.

Surprisingly enough, the Big Turk chocolate bar is still being made and no one feels it misrepresents the Turkish people. But then Shriners still wear those hats.

Even more of a surprise, it’s Canadian. Apparently we like them because Nestlés keeps making them for us. I’m not sure what this says.

I went through a Big Turk phase when I was about 10. They’re for kids, right? I liked that rubber jelly centre that passed (I now know) for loukoum or lokum, the Turkish word for what we call Turkish delight.

But the real thing, which originates in the Ottoman Empire, is more than Turkish. The Greeks, Persians, Arabs, and most everyone else from that vast region have versions. Funny, we don’t call it Greek Delight.

We can find freshly made loukoum in our Persian bakeries and commercial varieties in the delis (also mall kiosks for some reason). It’s a delicate, soft confection, slightly floral, scented with rose or orange blossom water. Often chopped nuts are added. If you’d like to make your own, try this recipe from the Grand Chef blog.

Loukoum, homemade or otherwise, is not sweet sweet. Which is why it would be good in a chocolate fondue. Although maybe don’t call it a Big Turk – unless of course, you have good reason.

The Big Turk Redefined

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