Delighting Me Always!
Aforetime, in English, it was alternatively known as Lumps of Delight!
This dessert is slightly exotic and is known by many people who have read the book “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”. This would do well for a tea party, a holiday party, or even if you just wanted to surprise someone. – JessicaD
This, however, did not come as a surprise to me because a very very very special friend with a very very very fancy name already told me she had handpicked flavours that, according to her intelligent guess, would cater to my taste. Geez, aren’t I lucky? 😀
Turkish delight or lokum (Turkish: Türk lokumu) is a family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios, and hazelnuts or walnuts bound by the gel; traditional varieties are mostly gel, generally flavored with rosewater, mastic, Bergamot orange, or lemon. The confection is often packaged and eaten in small cubes dusted with icing sugar, copra, or powdered cream of tartar, to prevent clinging. Other common flavors include cinnamon and mint. In the production process, soapwort may be used as an emulsifying additive.
According to the Hacı Bekir company, the sweet as it is known today was invented by Bekir Efendi, named Hacı Bekir after performing the hajj. He moved to Istanbul from his hometown Kastamonu and opened his confectionery shop in the district of Bahçekapı in 1777. The company still operates under the founder’s name.
Ottoman confectionery was originally sweetened with honey and molasses, using water and flour as the binding agents, with rosewater, lemon peel and bitter orange as the most common flavors (red, yellow and green). Hacı Bekir introduced the use of glucose in 1811, shortly after it had been discovered by Gottlieb Kirchhoff.
Lokum was introduced to Western Europe in the 19th century. An unknown Briton reputedly became very fond of the delicacy during his travels to Istanbul and purchased cases of it, to be shipped back to Britain under the name Turkish delight. It became a major delicacy in Britain and throughout Continental Europe for high class society. During this time, it became a practice among upper class socialites to exchange pieces of Turkish delight wrapped in silk handkerchiefs as presents.
The Turkish names lokma and lokum are derived from the Arabic word luqma(t) and its plural luqūm meaning “morsel” and “mouthful” and the alternative Ottoman Turkish name, rahat-ul hulküm, was an Arabic formulation, rāḥat al-hulqūm, meaning “comfort of the throat”, which remains the name in formal Arabic. – Wikipedia
Turkish Delight is not only the best-loved confection of the eastern Mediterranean, it is also Valerie’s and mine 😀
Miss Lavish asked me to share them with my children and I teased, “Oh no, I’m gonna hoard them!”
The prim and proper her did not get my joke, “Sharing is caring.”
“Duh!” (Eyes rolling)
But… Thank you, thank you and thank you! I really appreciate these gifts, especially the teacups and spoons, which you made distinguished effort to get for me before boarding 😀 😀 😀
Whenever I pop a Turkish Delight into my mouth, I am filled with the
smell fragrance of the exotic east. Lokum, specifically the Pomegranate and Pistachio, seems to be delighting me always!
Egyptian or Spice Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı)
Location: Yeni Camii Meydanı, *Eminönü (next to the New Mosque – Yeni Camii).
Happy eating 🙂
P.S. The historical part of Istanbul is the area south of the Golden Horn and consists of boroughs such as Beyazıt, *Eminönü, Fatih, Kumkapı, Sirkeci, Süleymaniye, Sultanahmet, and Tahtakale.