At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


According to popular belief in the eastern Meditarranean, Loukoumiya is good for your testicles or your sex-drive. I'm not sure which, and I'm not going to ask.
The natives of Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey all claim it as their own. Possibly they do so because of sex. That is something about which people are often possessive.

Lukum was introduced to the west in the 19th century under the name Turkish Delight. The actual name for the sweet is rahat lukum. Lukum means morsel, rahat means peace or contentment, so the translation is a 'morsel of contentment'.
The Turkish name may actually derive from Arabic: راحة الحلقم rahat al-hulkum: contentment of the gullet.
Please note that the name does not refer to sex in either language.

[Applets & Cotlets, by Liberty Orchards, is an offshoot of this type of sweet.]


2 cups sugar.
4 tablespoons cornstarch.
1 cup water.
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.
2 tablespoon rosewater (available at Middle Eastern stores).
1/2 cup chopped pistachios, walnuts, or almonds.
Confectioner's sugar for dusting.

Mix sugar, cornstarch and cream of tartar with the water and boil for five minutes, stirring the while. Remove from heat and add rosewater and chopped nuts. Apply a little cooking oil to a rectangular pyrex dish (or use non-stick cooking spray) and pour in mixture to a depth of an inch. When cool, cut into rectangles and roll each piece in powdered sugar.

Store at room temperature in airtight container.

Fruit juice may be used in lieu of plain water - strained orange juice or clear apple juice is excellent, and a lemon may be squeezed in for tanginess. Food colouring as deemed appropriate can be added, and some people roll it in coconut shreds or crushed nuts.

Note that it can also be made with orange essence, or even orange blossom water (moit ez zaher), in lieu of the rosewater (moit el ward). Rosewater is traditional, but not essential.
I doubt that the rosewater is the secret ingredient that makes it tonifying to the masculine gelatinous parts, but feel free to examine the issue if you wish and brief the rest of us on what you conclude - we are fascinated by your gelatinous parts.

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  • At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Or, if the recent comment tradition on this blog is anything to go by, roll them in shredded wombat.


  • At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Roll what in shredded wombat? The masculine gelatinous parts?

  • At 6:29 PM, Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said…

    i read the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe when i was in 3rd grade... i had never heard of "Turkish delight", and when that traitorous brother character gets ensnared by the Witch, i assumed she must have been offering him a full-course Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

    when i had my first Turkish Delight years later, i thought: he betrayed his siblings for *this*?!

  • At 1:24 AM, Anonymous tafka pp said…

    They've got a completely different name for it in East Jerusalem. Damn, I can't remember what it is! I'm going to find out and get back to you.

  • At 10:48 AM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    They've got a completely different name for it in East Jerusalem.

    If not rahat lukum / rahat el hulkum, then maybe rehah, luqumi, halqum, or rahatlik. Whatever it is called, I look forward to your next comment.

    It is not to be confused with such products marzipan types - that was a popular confection among the Turks near the first mosque in Eindhoven, with variations based on walnuts with orange paste, pistachio and apricot fudge, and, a personal favourite, hamdi: condensed dairy with almond paste, sugar, rosewater, and cinnamon - absolutely intoxicating! I have never found then anywhwere else, and I think they were a regional confection from some small burg in Anatolia.

    There's also muhaliba, a pudding which I am fond of. Mehmet Effendi in Eindhoven sold a chilled thick version made green with ground pistachio, and a yellow one with saffron.

    Glass of bitter coffee on the side, and one was, briefly, in paradise.

  • At 10:52 AM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    Steg, read and reread the Narnia stuff pretty much from third grade through sixth. Loved it. It wasn't untill I read some of Lewis' other stuff that I realized how utterly, and old-fashionedly, Christian his worldview was. Which of course does not diminish the wondrous quality of the Narnian books.

    I particularly liked the scene with the witch on the loose in London, who takes over a horse-cab and terrifies the natives by her fiercely dominant attitude.

  • At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sounds nearly identical to Karachi Halwa. I would guess tha the Arabic connection with Karachi brought it there. Except that Karachi Halwa is a bright green colour, and unpowdersugared - sweet enough to rot your teeth with a glance, does not need the added sugar.

    ---Grant Patel

  • At 3:36 PM, Blogger Tzipporah said…

    Steg and BoTH - ditto re: Narnia.

    All of these confections except the marzipan and title sweet sound appealing.

  • At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ms. Tzipporah - you do not like marzipan? What's not to like?

    Almonds, rosewater, sugar, it all sounds pretty yummy to me. Karachi Halwa on the other hand.... Maybe I just don't like anything with a Karachist connotation. Nasty.

    ---Grant Patel

  • At 12:00 PM, Blogger Spiros said…

    Shredded wombat?

  • At 9:25 PM, Blogger e-kvetcher said…

  • At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    E-kvetcher bhai, quite a fascinating item, that. Highlights the connections between the various Islamic empires before the Brits disrupted everything. Osman, Persia, the murderous Afghani, and the Mughals - a great contiguity. Though often at opposite ends.

    ---Grant Patel

  • At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Turkish delight is sugar and starch? That's it? No fruit juice concentrates, no attars?

    How disappointing. I was expecting something more exotic.


  • At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Turkish delight is sugar and starch? That's it? No fruit juice concentrates, no attars?

    You ignored the nuts! NEVER..!..! ignore the nuts!

    ---Grant Patel

  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You can add mint, rose, cherry, banana, chocolate, orange or any aroma when preparing. Enjoy.

  • At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In Al Salt, Jordan, its called Chitiman looolz


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