Hello, Janet, Have you ever heard the word “sharope”? When I was a child, my grandmother who was Turkish would make a sweet, white paste which she kneaded on the tile floor. We would then snip off pieces and eat them. They tasted of vanilla, and the texture was like a paste, softer than caramel, and not formed. Can you help? – Yael
Yep! Sharope (shah-ROH-peh) is a spoon sweet. It’s a kind of meringue – a marshmallow creme, really – in which hot sugar syrup, rather than dry granulated sugar, is beaten into egg whites for a long, long time with a wooden dowel. Dry sugar separates quickly from beaten egg whites, but the cooked syrup is more stable and doesn’t separate (this, by the way, is also the process for making Italian meringue), so this is a sweet you can make and store in a jar. Sharope might be flavored with lemon or almonds or, as in your grandmother’s case, vanilla, which would be delicious. I’ve never heard of anyone kneading sharope on the floor! It’s not usually so dense to even allow for that kind of handling, although the longer you beat the meringue, the more taffy-like it becomes. I’m guessing your grandmother either beat the meringue for a VERY long time or that she added mastic, which is what gives Turkish ice cream its taffy-like texture (For further explanation, take a look at my post about Dondurma).
If you’re familiar with Marshmallow Fluff, it’s pretty close to sharope – but it ain’t the same.
Thanks for your question, Yael. A good one!