Has anyone ever made Turkish delight at home?
Is Rosewater the "essential" ingredient in it...or can i skip it?
I've not made it at home, but I definitely would not skip the rosewater - it is a very important part of the flavor of this candy.
No - you do need it for it to taste authentic. You can find it at independent small grocery stores that carry Middle Eastern products, or with the flavorings in a gourmet-oriented grocery store.
Rosewater is the flavoring agent, so if you don't use rosewater you would have to replace it with some other flavor. I am not sure what vanilla or orange or lemon flavored lokum would taste like. There is only one way to find out....
You don't need rosewater unless you're making rose-flavored Turkish Delight. If you want some other flavor, leave the rosewater out - it'll overwhelm the other ingredients.
My favorite flavor is pistachio.
My mom always made Turkish Deklight at the holidays--some tinted green, some red. She didn't use rosewater, and they were too sweet for me. But I do like the apple-flavored commercial ones.
a hint: I lived in a tiny town which didn't have 'gourmet' grocery items, so I went to the local dinner house/bar and talked the bartender into selling me a small bottle of rosewater. I used it for some Iraqi Date Filled Cookies--and the flavor is essential.
So I'd say yes, get some!