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Turkish Delight Story

“What would you like best to eat?” the White Witch asks Edmund, hoping to tempt him into betraying his siblings.

Edmund—teeth chattering in snowy Narnia—takes comfort in the familiarity of the powdered sugar–dusted treat. Though I didn’t know what Turkish delight was, I could tell that for Edmund, it tasted of home and safety. When I tried my first piece of Turkish delight as a student at BYU’s London Centre, I was shocked. Rather than channeling magic and delight, as I had expected from Edmund’s experience in C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, it tasted of soap.

Turkish delight is traditionally flavored with rosewater, a common ingredient in many Persian and Middle Eastern dishes. In Edmund’s England, the popularity of the candy reflects the cosmopolitan fusion of cultures. To my inexperienced American palate, however, it took a few tries to develop a taste for what initially seemed too foreign to like.

Today, it’s easy to find Turkish delight in a variety of flavors. If the rose-flavored cubes reminded Edmund of home and safety, they will always remind me of childhood reading and new experiences abroad.

Submitted by Dr. Jamie Horrocks, English

History of Turkish Delights

Voiced by: Aunah Johnson

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