Top Pick Of The Week

July 12, 2005

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Pariya Foods Rahaat
Conjured to please a sultan’s many wives. You don’t have
to join a harem to enjoy this most delicious rose, pistachio and coconut raahat from Pariya Foods

Pariya Nougat, Pashmak & Raahat: The Sweets of Sultans

Pick a legend: Aphrodite cooks up a treat to entice her lovers using water from her pure, natural springs in Cyprus. An Anatolian confectioner arrives in Constantinople with a secret sweetmeat recipe that fast becomes fancied by Sultan Abdulhamid I, and by fashionable ladies who present the treat to each other in special lace handkerchiefs. A Turkish sultan asks his court’s most skilled confectioners to conjure a candy that will please his many wives.

Whichever romantic vision dances in your head, “Turkish Delight,” longhand for raahat (also known as raahat lokum—loosely translated as “easy to eat”), is a treat adored by Greek lovers, Turkish sultans, sultans’ wives, and foodies alike.

Pastel-pretty and variously flavored with rose petals, citron, coconut, sour cherry, and a choice of nuts—hazelnuts, almonds or pistachios—Pariya Food’s raahat is the ultimate ethereal pairing of corn flour and sugar cooked precisely to yield raahat’s signature silky soft yet toothsome texture. Cooked too long, raahat becomes too hard; undercooked, it won’t hold its shape when cooled. Pariya, a modern Persian sweetmeat purveyor based in down-under Australia, has perfected the raahat technique: the mixture is cooked to achieve the perfect consistency; then flavorings and nuts are added. The candy is poured into trays to cool and set; once set, the confection can be cut into desired shapes and sizes. Traditionally, it is hand-cut into cubes and coated in dried, unsweetened coconut or confectioners sugar.

Citron Hazelnut Coconut Rose Rahaat
Citron Raahat Hazelnut Coconut Raahat Rose Raahat

Raahat’s sweet nature can coax thoughts of springtime out of the gloomiest winter day, complement the flowers of spring or the bright rays of summer. Soothingly—not cloyingly—sweet, it’s a perfect accompaniment to a party-of-one cup of tea or an entire tea party. The experts at Adagio Tea have paired three black teas with these sweets: Assam Harmony, a burgundy-red brew with rich aroma and strong malty taste, from the Assam region of India; Golden Monkey from the Fujian province of China, a full-bodied tea with an abundance of flavor, one of the finest Chinese black teas available; and Keemun Encore from the Anhui region of China, prized for its rich, chocolaty flavor and sumptuous aroma.

Debunking The Myth of Nougat

Now on to modern myths. There are people who think they don’t like nougat, simply because their experience has been limited to dime store nougat, rock-hard nougat, or other less-than-the-best nougat. Here we present you with nougat that passes the sultan’s muster—and ours. Nougat that has nothing to do with what you may have experienced on petit fours plates throughout France or elsewhere in your travels.

Tea Party
Delicious sweets from Pariya Food, paired with special teas from Adagio Tea, are a perfect reason to invite foodie friends to a tea party. Photo courtesy of

This is nougat so divine, we would have sneaked into the seraglio to get our hands on the pistachio, or sour cherry or saffron, if Pariya didn’t make it so accessible. We regret that the photos here don’t look anywhere near as amazing as the nougat tastes. So trust us: we’d rather have a box of these than a box of chocolate.

Pariya raahat and nougat make an out-of-the-ordinary gift to bring along to a shower, an ailing friend or anyone in need of a lift. In elegant, simple clear containers that help radiate their lovely Easter-egg colors, you need do no more than place one or two boxes in a gift bag with some tissue. The attractive, re-usable boxes also make great stocking-stuffers or gift basket additions.

Saffron Nougat Sour Cherry Nougat Pistachio Nougat
Saffron and Pistachio Nougat Sour Cherry and Pistachio Nougat Pistachio Nougat

Pariya’s entire product line ranges from exotic flower buds, petals, spices and unusual berries used in cooking, to dried fruits, roasted nuts, toffees, and pashmak, or “Persian cotton candy” (photo at right), a delightful confection much more refined than our own product. Given the fashion today among chefs at the finest restaurants to serve bits of house-made flavored cotton candies with their dessert plates, you would be most au courant to get one of each flavor with which to impress your own guests.

When you explore the website, you’ll be intrigued and delighted by the wonders that greet the eye. Without even having to travel to Cyprus, Constantinople, Turkey, or Australia.

Pashmak - cherry
Pashmak, or Persian cotton candy, shown here in rose, casts magic when a few strands are used to top American desserts, or as a garnish on dessert plates. Mix colors for a dazzling effect.


Raahat, Nougat & Pashmak
  • Raahat, in 14 flavors†, 250g
    (about 8.8 ounces) box,
    $8.65 to $9.65
  • Nougat, almond, pistachio,
    saffron, & sour cherry
    135g (about 4.8 ounces)
    $11.69 to $12.90
  • Pashmak, chocolate, pistachio,
    rose, saffron, vanilla,
    200g (about 7 ounces)

Purchase online* at

†Citron, hazelnut, hazelnut with coconut, nougat, rose, rose and almond, rose and almond with coconut, rose and pistachio, rose and pistachio with coconut, rose and walnut, rose and walnut with coconut, rose petal, sour cherry and vanilla.

*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them. Purchase information is provided as a reader convenience.


Rose Almond Rahaat

Rose Almond Raahat
Almond Nougat
Almond Nougat

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