Last Monday was a good day. Sure, I had lost my fantasy football matchup the weekend before, and yes, I was still full of self loathing and disdain, but…that’s just Monday, right? The reason this particular Monday was so excellent is due to the fact that not one, not two, but three of my co-workers randomly dropped by my office to bring me candy to review. In my book, that makes a good day. First up? The UK’s “Turkish Delight”.
I’d seen these things at Cost Plus World Market, and in Heathrow Airport whenever I’ve been lucky enough to take trips over the pond. I’d never tried one though, so this was a brand new experience for me. It’s hard to read from my photo, but on the wrapper it says at the top “Full Of Eastern Promise!”. Then on the side, “As Good As Ever”. None of this means anything to me. I’ve been trying to figure out what Eastern Promise could possibly be, and let me tell, ya, I’ve come up with a few ideas-none have anything to do with candy. As for the “As good as ever” catch phrase-is that proactive damage-control marketing? Was there a compromise made to the Turkish Delight recipe back in the 70’s to cut costs, but now they’ve gone back to the old school? Rather than musing on this riddle for the ages, I opened it up instead.
Looks chocolate-y delicious, right? I agree. But check out the contents of the middle:
Hmm. Maybe it’s cherry? Or maybe not: maybe it’s a dense raspberry filling? That’d be different, yet interesting. Full of Eastern Promise? Not really. But if course…there was no raspberry up in this piece. Nope. It’s not a fruit filling. And it’s not dense. When you bite into it, the chocolate immediately gives way to the soft, creamy, “spread”-like filling. Try as I might, I could not put my finger on what the flavor was of the creepy red goo. Jinseng tea? Hazelnut? Romanian blood? Couldn’t tell. Didn’t have the data yet.
That’s when I asked Doug, the Brit that gave it to me. Looking at me somewhat as I were an idiot (but that’s not unique to this interaction or to Doug-most of my co-workers adopt that look when dealing with me) he simply said “Rose”. Rose? Rose flavored filling inside chocolate? Really?
Really. Doug also went on to say that traditionally, kids would get Turkish Delight during the holidays (Channukah, I’m sure, is what he’s talking about), but the container would be shaped like a circle. Inside the circular dish would only be the rose goo, that the kids would eat with a spoon.
Uhh…note to Britain: sounds gross. Kids where I grew up ate chocolate during the holidays. Cookies. Cake. Despite losing the decades long confection battle to Europe, in this case, we can chalk one up for USA, zero for England. U-S-A! U-S-A!
However, the Eastern Promise was becoming clear. What’s not clear at all is how this is such a long standing seminal British treat. They’re cloyingly sweet, and very subtle. VERY subtle, to the point of being a bland, creamy, mess. Not what I’m into at all.
However, I’m glad to have notched another candy mystery off the list. Would I buy this? No. Would I eat one for free? No. But I’m not gonna fully slam it either, because I can definitely see how someone who’s really into rose flavor might dig this. In small doses. Just not me. I’m not delighted.