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Why Turkish Delight Tastes So Good

In the West the mere word Turkish delight conjures images of snow-witches and small children in fur coats and go off to adventures in the wardrobes of their children as well as the chocolate-coated bars that is packaged in a shiny pink packet.

But the real Turkish dessert is sweet traditional that comes from Turkey called Lokum and has been consumed over the long periods of time. A visit to Turkey or drinking a glass of Turkish coffee, is enough without trying this sweet.

History of Turkish Delight

It is believed that the Turkish word lokum is derived from the Arabic word rahatul-hulkum, which is a reference to “comforting the throat”..

In the Ottoman Empire, Turkish delight was an essential component of the royal cuisine and, despite its ancestry dating back to the 16th Century Anatolia however, it was only manufactured for the masses around 1777.

There is a lot of debate over the genesis of Turkish delight, but it is believed by many that a man whose name was Bekir Efendi or Haci Bekir (Haci or Hajji is a title that was earned after having completed an Hajj trip in Makkah) established an establishment selling confectionery in the city in Bahcekapi, Constantinople in 1777.

In addition to the numerous sweets that were sold in his shop there was a mixture of sugar and starch that was dubbed”lokum. The family-owned company is owned by Bekir Efendi, still known as the Haci Bekir company is in its fifth generation.

Some historians believe that there is evidence that suggests the recipe for a dessert like Turkish delight was served for centuries by Arabs along with the Persians years before Bekir Efendi discovered them. It’s not clear if there is a romantic story of how the Turkish delight was created it is likely to be an untruth, but is it is an interesting tale.

There was one King who was of the opinion that eating food is the best way to please a woman, and as such, he kept diverse delicious recipes inside his armor and one day, trying to please someone he asked the chefs of the palace to create something that could do the job and that’s how it was that the Turkish delight was created!

What exactly is Turkish Delight?

Turkish delight is sweet made of sugar and starch which forms a gel. It can be sweetened by using molasses or honey instead and is available in a range of delicious flavors.

After the gel has been colored and flavoured the gel can become cubes, and coated with icing sugar or desiccated coconut. Or it can be covered with chopped nuts or hazelnut paste before being rolling.

While Turkish delight is made in many countries, the most delicious and authentic flavor can only be enjoyed in Turkey since the technique of making this delicious sweet has been developed in the country.

The most popular types of Turkish Delight

Lokum comes in various delicious flavors and varieties. Some of the most loved are:

Pistachio

Turkey is among the largest manufacturers of the pistachio piece throughout the world, therefore it’s not a surprise that there are Turkish delight in cubes and rolls, as well as various flavors which have been filled or coated with a large quantity of these tasty and lively green nuts.

Rose

What’s the more extravagant present from an excursion to Istanbul than a gift box of rose-scented Turkish delight? It is accessible in the traditional style of pink cubes coated with rosewater and then dipped in icing sugar across numerous confectionery stores, walk into the spice markets of Turkey and you’ll find rolls of Turkish delight that have been sweetened by honey instead of sugar, and dipped in the dried petals of roses.

Lemon

Invigorate your taste buds by slicing through some zesty lemon-flavored lokum. It’s not just refreshing in flavor but also one the more traditional flavors in Turkish Delight.

Pomegranate

Turkey literally is a pomegranate paradise and you can see a variety of nar or pomegranate-flavored sweets like molasses, tea, drinks and, of obviously, Turkish delight. Sometimes, it is coated in dried barberries, or sliced the pistachio nut, it is without doubt among the top well-known flavorings of lokum.

Coconut

Coconut flavored as well as coated Turkish delight is an indulgence that comes in a variety of roll filled with mouthwatering fillings like chopped nuts, and even Nutella!

It is believed that the Health Benefits of Turkish Delight

It is believed it is believed that eating Turkish delight is great to eliminate toxins from the body and clearing acne, in addition to being a preferred alternative for those suffering from kidney disease.

Turkish delight is typically packed with energy-boosting fillings like coconut and nuts also. It’s wise not to indulge too much in food items so sweet and a tiny portion would be a good and healthier alternative for those times those times when you want to reach for an indulgence in chocolate or a biscuit to go with your tea.

Turkish Delight from Around the World

Because of the expansion in the Ottoman Empire and the expansion of Turkish cuisine, a variety of nations have their own variations of Turkish foods and this is true for Turkish delight. Here are a few nations that have their own versions of the well-loved dessert.

Bulgaria Similar to Turkey Lokum (lokum) is the term used given to Turkish delights found in Bulgaria and is very well-loved within the nation. Lokum made in Bulgaria is not a common import as the country makes its own version.

Greece is known as loukoumi (loukoumi) within Greece the Greek version to the sweet is usually eaten with a cup of coffee. The most well-known flavor of loukoumi is Greece is in mastic. It is available across the country.

There is a different confection from Greece like loukoumi and is called akanes. It is flavored with goats milk butter that is fresh instead of the fruit essence that is what’s used in the more popular loukoumi.

Akanes is made exclusively by the city in Serres and the source of the name goes to the time that it was under Ottoman rule. Akanes was first referred to as hakanes Halva (coming directly from Turkish word the words kagan and han, both initially Mongolian terms that were utilized as titles for rulers meaning that the sweet was reserved for aristocratic class.).

Romania – As a way to undermine Ottoman control over Romania there were a number of Turkish terms that started to be translated into Romanian language were interpreted in a negative sense. The word used for Turkish pleasure that is spoken in Romanian is rahat. It is derived from the Arabic word rahat ul-hulkum however, the word can also mean “crap”. Despite its dual meaning, rahat is popular in Romania and is often included in various traditional cakes.

Albania as well as Former Yugoslavia – Known as the rahat-lokum, ratluk, or lokum in Albania and the former states in Yugoslavia, Turkish delight was introduced to the area by the Ottomans. It is typically consumed alongside coffee.

North America – Variations of Turkish delight have been made by American companies from the 1930s onwards. There is a myriad of flavors. Certain companies refer to them by the name of”rahat locoum” which clearly comes from the Arabic name.

Nestle makes chocolate bars in Canada called The Big Turk which is Turkish delight smothered in chocolate.

Brazil The country of Brazil Brazil, Turkish delight is called Manjar Turco, Delicia Turca, Bala de Goma Siria or Bala de Goma Arabe. The sweet was introduced into Latin America by Arabs who moved to Brazil.

Britain in Britain as well as a few other countries that include Ireland, Australia, Canada Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand, Turkish delight can be enjoyed by way of Fry’s chocolate bars. Turkish Delight that is a rose water flavored Turkish Delight coated in chocolate. Turkish delight is also available in numerous Turkish and international stores and in particular, in London and the other cities of major importance.