Sunday, February 03, 2008

On Enchantment

When I was little, my sister used to read to me. I may have been between the ages of 5 and 8, and my sister between 12 and 15, when she read the Chronicles of Narnia by chapter every evening. I remember that the stories she read had a great impact on my fantasy play at the time, full of secret doors and professors, and hidden lands. Since of course there is a very special character in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe named Lucy, I remember it best. I was very young at the time, and completely enthralled. A few months ago, while browsing the stacks at Lyon's English language bookstore, I saw the Chronicles of Narnia offered in one thick volume and decided to read all of the stories in full. What a lovely fantasy series.

"It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating," said the Queen presently. "What would you like best to eat?"

Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty."

The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle onto the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with a green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious. He was quite warm now, and very comfortable.
I remember the image that was produced in my child's mind of this Turkish Delight, something I had never tasted or seen before. In my mind, Turkish Delight was my grandmother Cille's Divinity. I found it quite believable that Edmund was completely lured and seduced by this enchanted candy from the Witch in the story. It wasn't until I was fully an adult that I happened upon a real box of Turkish delight, purchased while in Istanbul. A different animal altogether. For the story's purpose, Divinity worked quite nicely. My imagination filled the blanks. This time around, as an adult re-reading the story, Cille's Divinity once again found its place in my mind's eye and gave me a whopping dose of comfort and pleasure.

As children, our concept of gourmandise and those things we consider good to eat are always firmly planted in our experience. Remember this when you introduce your children to cooking. May every child on this earth have their experience of Cille's Divinity, or Turkish Delight, Fraise Tagada, fudge, Toll House cookies, guimauve, or whatever pleases and amazes them to the level of enchantment.


Blogger Tace said...

Turkish Delight!!! I remember reading about Turkish Delight as well, I still have not had any. I never see it any where. I haven't a clue what it even is. The closest I came to even SEEING it was once at a store I saw a label on a shelf of sweet treats and it said "Turkish Delight" and had the price and I looked and looked...but alas..NONE! I have had many a thought about this mysterious treat, anything that labels itself as DELIGHT has to be good..right?

6:48 PM, February 03, 2008  
Blogger Jocelyn:McAuliflower said...

Lovely lovely images Lucy.

I looks like you had them wrapped in crinkly paper in your pocket for a treat while out on a walk. I can practically hear, smell and taste the scene. :)

9:53 PM, February 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember that scene in the book too, and wondered forever what they were like. When I finally came across some (in the US), I was so disappointed that they were not my cup of tea - I didn't like jellied things as a child.

However, those pale pink confections look so light and delicious. I'd love to taste fresh ones now, as an adult. Especially rose flavored. I think I would enjoy them.

7:20 AM, February 04, 2008  
Blogger a toi rose society said...

I love your site. I go to it for inspiration all the time.
I too am wild about Turkish Delight. I used to buy pounds and pounds of it to share with my daughter. I'll have to say rose is our favorite.

2:53 PM, February 04, 2008  
Blogger Euro Chic said...

This post really hit home with me as the chapter where Edmund meets the White Witch and eats the Turkish Delight has always been my favorite in all of the Chronicles of Narnia books! I always imagined TD as being like Divinity as well and as a child when I eat Divinity I would always think of Edmund and his Turkish Delight. I admit I was a bit dissapointed the first time I realized the TD was nothing like Divinity.

10:33 PM, February 04, 2008  
Blogger Helene said...

I love their other name "loukoum". I was really surprised when I first had one...but I still fall for their pretty exterior! Great read as always!

5:18 AM, February 05, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having read about Turkish Delight in Narnia but never tasted it, I certainly allowed my son-in-law to take over the kitchen to surprise his wife with 5 flavors of it their first holiday back from studying abroad...Fantastic story..

12:39 PM, February 05, 2008  
Blogger BETUL said...

First time when I saw these photos I said " Thank God, I am not pregnant". You captured the spirit, as always.
If you want to eat best one, most flavourful- melt in your mouth one, have a trip to Istanbul and find this firm :CEMILZADE (pro. jamiilzaada)

Maybe you want to check their website first ( I think it is only Turkish):

2:06 AM, February 06, 2008  
Blogger Jaime said...

i love turkish delights! :)

i just joined the DB this month too, just checking out everyone else's blogs, wanted to say hello :)

2:13 AM, February 08, 2008  
Blogger christine said...

Those are so pretty Lucy. Did you buy them wrapped in that wonderful paper?

6:17 PM, February 08, 2008  
Blogger Jann said...

What beautiful little treat-I love that paper....great post!

7:30 PM, February 08, 2008  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Thanks everyone, for the comments. The paper is an accessory, from my enormous stash of papers which I continue to amass.

10:13 AM, February 10, 2008  
Blogger MacFarland said...

Great article on Turkish delights. enjoyed the reference to Cille's divinity. My favorites are chocolate chip cookies.

I enjoy reading your blogs and caught up on several days worth on Sunday.


10:13 PM, February 10, 2008  

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