Friday feeling: strawberry and cocoa pasha

A squidgy, marshmallow-like Turkish treat

“They’re a nightmare to cut,” sighs Graham The Turkish Deli, gingerly picking out four pillowy, candy-pink pasha, their inner whorls lined with cocoa powder. Small, soft, and sweet with strawberry extract, these popular Turkish sweets are made from violet water, which magically thickens into a marshmallow-y texture when whipped up.

This pliable substance can be flavoured with any number of natural flavours, from banana and coconut to Turkish strawberry. “In Turkey, shops have confectioners making pasha in the window. You can choose your own flavour and watch it be made in front of you,” Graham continues. There’s neither space nor time for that here at Turkish Deli; Graham buys his pasha from Turkey, where it is made from entirely Turkish ingredients—“everything from the strawberries to the cocoa,” which is unsweetened to counteract the strawberry, its bitterness deep and round.

Fortunately, the gummy pliability that makes pasha such a nightmare to cut makes it a sensation in the mouth: smooth, yielding and delicious. The gritty grains of cocoa provide a welcome contrast to the otherwise velvety texture, and while the day-glow pink is initially startling, it is fun. It is Friday: joyful, optimistic, loud, devil-may-care—and perfect for sharing