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Turkish Delight From Around the World

In the West the mere word Turkish delight brings up images of snow witches and tiny kids who wear fur coats and go into the wardrobes of their children and the chocolate-coated bars that is packaged in a shiny pink packet.

However, the authentic Turkish sweets are a sweet traditional that comes from Turkey called Lokum and has been consumed over the many centuries. A visit to Turkey or drinking a glass of Turkish coffee, is enough without trying this sweet.

A Brief History of Turkish Delight

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

In the Ottoman Empire, Turkish delight was an essential element of the cuisine of the palace and even though it goes back to the 16th Century Anatolia however, it was only manufactured for the masses around 1777.

There is plenty of controversy regarding the genesis of Turkish delight, but it is widely believed that a person named Bekir Efendi or Haci Bekir (Haci or Hajji is a title that was earned after having completed Hajji, the Hajj journey in Makkah) started a confectionery store in the city in Bahcekapi, Constantinople in 1777.

In addition to the numerous sweets offered at his store there was a mixture of sugar and starch which was later referred to as the 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 an ingredient in a dish like Turkish delight was served in the Arabs as well as the Persians long before Bekir Efendi discovered them. It’s unclear if there is a poetic tale of how Turkish delight was created it is likely to be the story of a myth, but it is it is an interesting tale.

There was a specific King who was of the opinion that eating food is a way to please a woman, and as such, he kept different delicious recipes inside his armor One day, trying to please a person he instructed the chefs at the palace to prepare something capable of doing the task and that’s how this Turkish delight was created!

What exactly is Turkish Delight?

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

After the gel has been flavored and shaped the gel can be cut in cubes, and then dipped in icing sugar, or desiccated coconut. Or it can be covered with chopped nuts, or hazelnut paste, and then rolling.

While Turkish delight is made in various countries, the most delicious and most authentic taste can only be experienced in Turkey since the process of making this amazing sweet has been developed in the country.

The most popular types of Turkish Delight

Lokum is available in a variety of delicious flavors and varieties. Some of the most loved are:


Turkey is among the largest manufacturers of the pistachio piece around the world, therefore it’s not a surprise you can find 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 colorful green nuts.


What is the more extravagant present from the trip 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 at the many confectionery stores, go 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.


Get your taste buds excited by slicing through some zesty lemon-flavored lokum. It’s not just refreshing in flavor but also one of the most classic flavors that comes from Turkish Delight.


Turkey is literally a paradise for pomegranates 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 cut Pistachio nuts, this is without doubt an extremely well-known flavorings of lokum.


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

Turkish Delight: Health Benefits of Turkish Delight

It is believed it is believed that eating Turkish delight is beneficial to remove toxins from your body and removing acne, in addition to being a good alternative for those suffering from kidney disease.

Turkish delight is typically packed with energy-boosting fillings like coconut and nuts as well. It’s an ideal idea to not indulge in foods with a sweet taste and a tiny slice would be a great and healthier alternative for those times those times when you want to reach for the chocolate bar or biscuit while drinking tea.

Turkish Delights From Around the World

Due to the expansion in the Ottoman Empire, and consequently the spreading of Turkish cuisine, a variety of countries offer variations of Turkish foods and this applies to Turkish delight. Here are a few nations that have their own versions of the well-loved dessert.

Bulgaria Like in Turkey Lokum (lokum) is the term used used for Turkish delights found in Bulgaria and is extremely popular across the region. Lokum made in Bulgaria isn’t usually imported since Bulgaria produces its own version.

Greece is known as loukoumi (loukoumi) within Greece the Greek variant 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 readily available throughout the country.

There is a different confection from Greece like loukoumi and is called akanes. It is flavored with goats’ milk butter instead of fruit essence, which is the main ingredient in well-known loukoumi.

Akanes is made exclusively by the city in Serres and the genesis of the name goes to the time that it was under Ottoman rule. Akanes was initially referred to as hakanes halva (coming via the Turkish word Han and Kagan, which were initially Mongolian terms used to refer to rulers as titles meaning that the sweet was reserved for aristocratic class.).

Romania – In an effort to undermine Ottoman control over Romania in the past, many of Turkish terms that started to be translated into Romanian language were interpreted in a negative way. The term used to describe Turkish enjoyment is Romanian is rahat. The word originates from the Arabic word rahat ul-hulkum but it also means “crap”. Despite its dual meaning, rahat can still be consumed in Romania and can be included in various traditional cakes.

Albania as well as Former Yugoslavia – Known as the rahat-lokum or ratluk in Albania and in the former countries in Yugoslavia, Turkish delight was introduced to the area by the Ottomans. It is typically consumed together with 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 Big Turk. Big Turk which is Turkish delight smothered in chocolate.

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