Turkish Delight

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The History of Turkish Delight

Turkish delight, also known as "lokum," is a sweet treat that was first produced in Istanbul during the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. The name "lokum" comes from the Arabic word for "sweet," and the treat was initially made in the palace kitchens. Over time, Turkish delight became widely available throughout the Ottoman Empire and eventually around the world.

The original recipe for Turkish delight was a sticky, dry, and fat-free sugar dough. Over time, various fruits, spices, and essential oils were added to create the flavors of Turkish delight that we know today. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish delight remained a beloved treat among the Turkish people and continues to be enjoyed today.

Nowadays, Turkish delight is recognized and loved by tourists all around the world. The history of Turkish delight is tied to the history of Turkish culture and the Ottoman Empire, and it is still produced and sold in Istanbul and other Turkish cities today.



Features of Turkish Delight:

  1. Texture: Turkish delight has a soft and chewy texture that is easily distinguishable.
  2. Flavor: Turkish delight is available in a wide range of flavors, including rose, lemon, orange, pomegranate, and mint, among others.
  3. Sweetness: Turkish delight is made with sugar, honey, or syrup and is therefore very sweet.
  4. Aroma: Turkish delight has a unique aroma that is a combination of the flavors used in its preparation.
  5. Color: The color of Turkish delight varies depending on the flavor, but it is typically brightly colored and eye-catching.
  6. Customization: Turkish delight can be customized to include nuts, dried fruits, or other ingredients for added texture and flavor.
  7. Presentation: Turkish delight is often served in decorative boxes or packages, making it an attractive gift option.
  8. History: Turkish delight has a long history that is tied to the Ottoman Empire and Turkish culture.

These are the main features of Turkish delight, making it a unique and recognizable treat that is enjoyed by people all around the world.

Types of Turkish Delight by Region:

  1. Antep Lokumu: Antep Lokumu is a type of Turkish delight that is made with pistachios and is known for its soft and sticky texture. It originated from the city of Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey.
  2. Sivas Lokumu: Sivas Lokumu is a type of Turkish delight that is made with rose petals and is known for its fragrant aroma. It originated from the city of Sivas in central Turkey.
  3. Konya Lokumu: Konya Lokumu is a type of Turkish delight that is made with mastic, a resin obtained from the mastic tree, and is known for its unique flavor. It originated from the city of Konya in central Turkey.
  4. Bursa Lokumu: Bursa Lokumu is a type of Turkish delight that is made with bergamot, a type of citrus fruit, and is known for its fresh flavor. It originated from the city of Bursa in northwestern Turkey.
  5. İzmir Lokumu: İzmir Lokumu is a type of Turkish delight that is made with orange blossom water and is known for its light and refreshing flavor. It originated from the city of İzmir in western Turkey.

These are some of the most popular types of Turkish delight that are specific to different regions in Turkey. Each type of Turkish delight has its own unique flavor, aroma, and texture that is tied to the local culture and cuisine.

Ingredients for Turkish Delight:

  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Lemon juice
  • Flavorings (such as rose water, orange blossom water, vanilla extract, etc.)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Nuts or dried fruit (optional)


Recipe for Turkish Delight:

  1. In a large saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, water, and lemon juice and heat over medium heat, stirring continuously, until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to stir until the mixture thickens and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the desired flavorings and food coloring, if using.
  4. Grease a square baking dish and pour the mixture into the dish. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes.
  5. Once cooled, use a knife to cut the mixture into small squares. Dust the squares with cornstarch to prevent sticking.
  6. Allow the Turkish delight to sit for at least 12 hours, or overnight, until it has set and become firm.
  7. Dust the squares again with cornstarch and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Storage Conditions for Turkish Delight:

  • Store Turkish delight in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
  • Avoid exposure to heat, moisture, and direct sunlight, as this can cause the Turkish delight to spoil or become soft and sticky.
  • Turkish delight can be stored for up to a month, depending on the ingredients used and the storage conditions.

By following these steps, you can make delicious and authentic Turkish delight that is perfect for enjoying as a sweet treat or giving as a gift.

Turkish Delight can be purchased from a variety of different sources, including:

  1. Sweet Shops: Turkish delight can be purchased from specialty sweet shops, particularly in regions where Turkish delight is popular, such as Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries.
  2. Confectionery Stores: Many confectionery stores carry Turkish delight, especially during holidays and special occasions.
  3. Online Retailers: Turkish delight can also be purchased online from websites that specialize in sweets and confectioneries.
  4. Supermarkets: Some supermarkets carry Turkish delight, particularly those with international food sections.
  5. Local Markets: Turkish delight can also be purchased from local markets, particularly in areas where it is made and sold traditionally.

By visiting these sources, you can purchase authentic Turkish delight that is made with high-quality ingredients and has the traditional flavors and textures that make it such a popular treat.