One of the world’s great sweet treats now has a dedicated Adelaide outlet – The Turkish Delight in the Central Market.
Used by CS Lewis as the ultimate temptation in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Turkish delight is one of the great confectionaries of the world. Despite this, the chewy and chocolate-coated Fry’s Turkish Delight, made by Cadbury, is many people’s only experience of the delicacy. This is a shame, as real Turkish delight should melt in your mouth like the ones found at The Turkish Delight in the Central Market, which opened in December last year by the mother and son team of Mona and Mohammed Hassan.
“Everything went well, touch wood,” Mona says of opening the stall just before Christmas last year. “People love it, we’ve got regular customers now. The product we do sell, it’s vegan, gelatine-free, gluten-free and dairy-free with all-natural colouring and natural starch. Every flavour you try is beautiful with unique flavour, unique taste.”
The Turkish Delight began as a pop-up stall in the Central Market before becoming permanent.
“I’ve got a daughter in Melbourne [Naheda], she has a stall in Prahran Market [Naheda’s Choice Turkish Delight],” Mona says. “She started with a small store and it went really well, so we decided to do a pop-up shop in the [Central] Market here, about two, three years ago. It went really well.
“Every flavour you try is beautiful with unique flavour, unique taste.”
“After that, the Central Market asked me if I would open a store here. I said yes, as long as I have a good spot, so I waited a couple of years to get this spot and I’m very happy here. We’ve got this stall, we’ve got the product and people try it and love it, we have no complaints.”
The Turkish delight is hand-made in Melbourne. “My daughter, she’s got a deli, she specialises in dips. A Turkish guy, he came in and said, ‘I make this one at home, would you like to try some Turkish delight in the shop?’ She said, ‘Yeah, why not?’ She tried them, he brought in another flavour and another flavour. It went so well, she couldn’t keep them in her deli because they were that good, her deli was going well with the dips, so she ended up opening a shop just for the Turkish delight.”
The Turkish delight-maker sells exclusively to Mona and her daughter. “He doesn’t sell to anybody else because he can’t keep up with the orders we do for him, he is almost working 24 hours, the poor thing, just to supply my daughter and myself.
“He still makes them at home, there is no factory or anything. He’s a qualified Turkish delight-maker.”
The Turkish delights in the store look like a confectionary rainbow of colours as the flavours range from traditional rose to mint, mango and pomegranate.
“Every flavour has a unique taste,” Mona says. “Mango, it tastes like you are eating a piece of mango, because it has natural flavours, it tastes exactly like [the fruit]. I have no customer complaints, every customer who tries it says, ‘Wow!’”
The Turkish Delight
Stall 8, Adelaide Central Market