This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Rahat Lakoum; otherwise familiarly known in this country as "Turkish Delight." Is made of 3 lbs. loaf sugar, 4 qts. water, boiled, 9 oz. starch added, boiled with constant stirring until thick. Pieces dropped in powdered sugar will not moisten or absorb the sugar when it has boiled enough. To be flavored with musk the size of a pea, dissolved in rose water. Poured out in oiled pan, cut in pieces when cold. (See Fin-Paste and Gum Drops).
Make a syrup of 1 lb. sugar and 2 pts. of water. Cut open 4 or S muffins and soak them in the syrup for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove with a slice, and place half of them in a baking-tin; sprinkle over with pounded almonds or pistachios, then a layer of clotted cream 1/4 in. thick, more almonds, and then the remaining halves of the muffins. Now pour 3/4 of a pint of the syrup over, place in the oven, or on a moderate charcoal fire, until the syrup is nearly all absorbed, and serve either hot or cold.
Balaklava cakes. Paste like nouillcs paste rolled out thin as paper, piled on each other with almond paste between some layers, butter poured over, baked in deep pan, honey syrup poured over, cut in pieces to serve.
Many tons' weight of rose leaves, gathered and packed while they are freshly fallen, are converted into rose jam, one of the exquisite conserves which under the generic name of dulchatz, are so admirably confected in Turkey, Greece, and Roumania, and constitute a leading feature in the toothsome refection offered to' the casual visitor in every well-to-do oriental household. Rose jam, considered as a sweetmeat, is far superior in flavor and savor to Rahat Lakoum, and to the somewhat cloying preparations of angelica for which certain Stamboul confectioners are justly famous. It is by no means sickly, or even insipid, as those delicacies unquestionably are, but is characterized by an after taste no less brisk and refreshing than that of the black cherry dulchatz, paragon of all Turkish sweets.
The silk-clad merchants one encounters in the bazars of Damascus and Bagdad are capital judges of a good dinner. If western gourmets are ignorant of the haute cuisine of the Arabs it is owing to the circumstance that invitations to dinner are rarely given to strangers, whom true believers regard as unclean. In a vague way it is understood that kebabs and pilau are not reckoned as high-class cookery among the natives. Some few, perhaps, have heard or read of the much esteemed Samytah, a puree of cream, dates, and starch; the Therid, a soup of olive oil, vinegar, eggs and bread; the tasty Sikbaj, or beef stew; and the golden "Judabah, sugared rice swimming in chicken fat. But the dainty dishes of the Arab epicure, the appetite-enticing ■wast, the delicious sanbusaj, the leafy qutaif, and the honeyed luzinyeh, are dainties of which the outer infidel world knows nothing.