Turkish Delight or Turkish Lokum are one of the sweetest Turkish delicacies.
They are to Turkey what wine is to France. The Turkish word Lokum is derived
from the Arabic word Luqma, which means “mouthful.”
Turkish Delights date back to over hundreds of years. They were an
essential fare during the Ottoman period and were a salient feature of palace cuisine.
Although Turkish Delights are composed of primary ingredients, their
manufacturing process is quite intense and requires a great deal of skill.
In Europe, many efforts have been made for the production of Turkish
Delights, but all were in vain. Their rubbery, gummy texture makes them
unique from the rest of other common delicacies. What is also unique is that they come in a variety of flavors such as lemon, rose, pomegranate, orange, mint, hazelnut, walnut, pistachio, mastic, and cream.
There are now numerous companies in the modern era that make Turkish Delights. Here are some of the top Turkish Delight brands that are mentioned in this this article:
There is also a recipe below on how to make them yourself at home!
What are the Origins of Turkish Delights - A Brief History
Turkish Delights have a rich past. It is believed that ‘abhisa’; a delicacy that was consumed by the Sassanities, rulers of the Persian Empire from 226 BC to 652BC, is the root of Turkish Delights. Legend has it that the Turkish Delight is the product of the efforts of a confectioner known as Bekir Effendi. Bekir resided in a town called Kastamonu, situated in the mountains of Anatolia. He visited Istanbul in 1776 and set up his bakery. Bekir was quite skilled at his craft, and his geniuses gave rise to the Turkish Delight. Word of mouth spread like wildfire, and his sweets became an instant hit. Turkish Delights shortly became an elegant gift and were exchanged among people as tokens of love.
Soon, Effendi’s creation made its way towards the royal court. The Sultan, who had a great liking for sweets, welcomed it with open arms. Effendi saw his business flourish right before his eyes as everyone got hooked to his delightful creation! To very this day, the grand edifice of his shop can be found on Hamidiye Caddesi near spice bazaar. Effendi’s creative attribute was passed on to future generations where they came up with innovative ideas to tweak Turkish Delights. As time passed, not much changed in the production of Turkish Delights. The primary flavors such as rose, lemon, mastic and mint were still the main ingredients in their preparation. However, the introduction of pistachios, nuts and desiccated coconut has taken the Turkish Delights to another level.
What Are Turkish Delight Traditions?
Turkish Delight is a traditional dessert and a national treasure of Turkey. It is a typical stereotype, which is linked to the people of Turkey. Turkish Delight is consumed on many occasions. The sales of Turkish Delights peak on events such as religious festivals and national holidays. Apart from that, it is served at feasts and banquets, and ceremonies. Turkish Delight goes particularly well with coffee, particularly Turkish or Arabic coffee, as the combination of the two is heavenly. It can also be given to a person in the form of a gift. Its wide variety of flavors makes it one of the most consumed delicacies in Turkey.
What Turkish Delight Brands are Highly Rated?
Cerez Pazari Turkish Delights
Cerez Pazari is one of the leading companies in Turkey. Ever since their inception in 2007, in Istanbul, they are responsible for supplying fresh and high-quality nuts, dried fruits and Turkish delights to over 300 luxurious restaurants and hotels in Turkey, UAE/Dubai and USA. Cerez Pazari lives up to its name by delivering the best product.
Turkish Delight by Cerez Pazari is well known for their delicious flavors. Their Gluten Free Turkish Delights are free of additives and preservatives. Their authenticity and price give them the edge over other brands of Turkish Delights.
HazerBaba Turkish Delights
HazerBaba initially started as a small business in 1888. Its primary focus was to manufacture and trade food products in the province of Elazig. HazerBaba then relocated to Istanbul almost a century later and was responsible for the large-scale production of Turkish Delights. It holds the distinction of being the first company, which used modern-day equipment, and manufacturing process for the production of Turkish Delights while sticking to the traditional Turkish delight recipes. Their unprecedented efforts enabled them to become one of the leading and successful companies in Turkey.
HazerBaba Turkish Delights are known for their velvety and smooth texture. The rose flavor incorporated into the Turkish Delights works wonders and makes the Turkish Delights heavenly. Their packaging enables them to be a chic gift.
Mughe Gourmet Turkish Delights
Muge Ergulec instigated Mughe Gourmet in 2013. It is one of the biggest brands names in Turkey that is responsible for the production and distribution of confectioneries and gourmet foods such as Special Handmade Luxury Turkish Delights, Special Mix Dried Fruits and Nuts and Turkish Coffee Roasted in Wood Fire. The company aims to unfurl happiness through its food products, and it is successful in doing so by its quality foods and delicious delicacies.
Mughe Gourmet’s Turkish Delight Mix (as shown in the picture above) have delightful flavors. It comes in five mouth-watering fruit flavor options such as Strawberry, Rose, Lemon, Orange and Mint. The Mix Plain Turkish Delight is Gluten-free and contains no preservatives or additives. Its packaging is a sight for sore eyes which further adds to the grandeur of the Turkish Delights.
Sadaf Foods (Galil) Turkish Delights
Sadaf Foods is a family-owned company, which came into being in 1982 in Los Angeles, California. It is a company, which tends to manufacture and distribute the Mediterranean, Kosher and Specialty Foods. It is a leading company among specialty food suppliers and importers that is growing expeditiously. Its constant quality assurance and diverse selection of products make it one of the major companies worldwide.
Galil’s Original Turkish Delight is quite delicious, irresistible and exotic. Free of additives or preservative, its soft and chewy texture is truly enjoyable with a cup of tea or coffee.
How to Make Your Own Turkish Delights
Contrary to the belief that making Turkish Delights is a daunting task, it really is not. With the appropriate tools and ingredients, you’ll have those finger-licking Turkish Delights prepared in a jiffy. The following instructions are used in the preparation of Turkish Delights:
¾ cup of water
2 cups sugar
1/8 tsp. Citric acid or cream of tartar or lemon juice
Another ½ cup of water
Rose flavor to taste (rose water, syrup, or oil would do as well)
Coconut oil or parchment paper
First, prepare your molds and grease them with coconut oil or parchment paper or any other similar coating. Then initiate the process by mixing sugar, ¾ cup of water, and citric acid in a heavy bottom or a deep-frying pan. We then let the mixture come to a slight boil before lowering the heat. Heat without stirring until the temperature of the mixture reaches to 258°F (126°C). A spatula can be occasionally used to remove any sugar crystals that may have formed on the sides of the pan.
In the meantime, stir the solution of water and cornstarch together. When the sugar syrup has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the heat and scoop a small portion of sugar syrup into the corn-starch mixture to make it warm. Then, pour the corn-starch mixture into the sugar syrup and continuously stir while doing so.
Incorporate all the corn-starch solution into the sugar syrup while heating it over low heat. You’ll observe that the mixture thickens immediately after the inclusion of the corn-starch solution. Despite its thickness, you’ll want to thicken the solution further by keeping the mixture over low heat. As the mixture is exposed to heat, you’ll notice that it starts to become transparent along with the reduction in its volume.
When to add flavors is totally up to you. Test the consistency of the gel with a spoon. If you are content with the thickness of the candy, add flavors in it.
Although, it should be remembered that the longer the candy is cooked, the chewier it will become. Incorporate the desired flavorings and colors; in our case, it’s the rose water or rose syrup. Once you’re done with adding the flavorings, make sure that the texture is consistent. If required, moderately mix and warm your mixture at very low heat for a while. When you are satisfied with the mixture, pour it into the pre-prepared molds and spread it evenly.
Let the mixture set for several hours until it has cooled down. Cut the mixture into small squares with the help of corn-starch. Cornstarch prevents the sticking of candies to one another.
Now you’ll have your Turkish Delights all ready to be eaten!
There is more to Turkish delight than being just a famed national delicacy. They are the perfect embodiment of the rich and vast culture of Turkey, and they come in a variety of flavors. Although they all look distinctively different from the outside, their taste is surprisingly similar.
Turkish Delights have made a name for themselves. In the movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”, the whole world got to witnessed Edmund as he deliciously munched on those delicious Turkish Delights. Thus, Turkish Delights are a symbol of elegance and the grandeur of Turkish people.