Turkish delight, one of the tastes of Turkish kitchen which opens its doors to the world, is a typical Turkish kitchen tradition with its special varieties and offering occasions.

Lokum, the internationally famous sweet from Turkish cuisine is generally known abroad as “Turkish Delight” (Turkish Sweet). The word lokum originates from the Ottoman Turkish word “rahat ul-hulküm”, meaning “comfort of the throat.” Over time, lokum, that has been popular in Anatolia since the 15th century, became popular in the entire Ottoman Empire. When a British traveler took lokum aboard in the 19th century, it became known worldwide and was exported abroad from the middle of the 19th century. Although European sweet makers attempted to imitate lokum, they were unsuccessful in manufacturing the sweet because even if the ingredients are simple, the technique is difficult. Since the 17th century, lokum, originally made with honey or grape molasses instead of sugar in the early days, has been made using starch and powdered sugar. According to the variety, dried nuts such as pistachio nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, fruit essence, flower leaves, cream or gum can also be added.

Haji Bekir Usta is one of the first manufacturers of lokum. Artist Amadeo Preziosi painted a picture of Haji Bekir Usta as he was selling lokum in his shop. Today this painting is exhibited in the Louvre Museum in Paris. Lokum is served at bayram (eid), weddings, ceremonies and many other events. Turkish coffee served with Turkish delight and water has become a universalized tradition of Turkish cuisine.


Güllü (Rose) Lokum

600 g sugar / 1 liter water / 1/5 teaspoon citric asid/ 1⁄2 cup rose water / 1 cup starch powder / 150 g powdered sugar

Pour the water, sugar and citric asid in a saucepan and leave to boil. Put the starch powder into a bowl, add the rose water and mix well and add this to the boiling syrup. Cook on a slow heat mixing occasionally for 30 minutes. Pour the cooked lokum mixture into a square glass/metal dish lined with greaseproof paper and leave to cool. Place the cooled mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours. Slice into squares, cover with powdered sugar and serve.


Fıstıklı (Pistachio) Lokum

600g sugar / 1 liter water / 1/5 teaspoon citric asid / 200g pistachios / 1 cup starch powder / 150 g powdered sugar

Pour the water, sugar and citric asid into a pan and leave to boil. Put the starch powder in toa bowl, mix well and add this to the boiling syrup. Cook on a slow heat mixing occasionally for 30 minutes. Roughly crush the pistachios in a mortar. Add the crushed pistachios to the boiling mixture and cook for a further five minutes. Pour the cooked lokum mixture into a square glass/metal dish lined with greaseproof paper and leave to cool. Place the cooled mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours. Slice into squares, cover with powdered sugar, and serve.

Other Articles from This Issue

Skylife Archive