Lokum is a traditional Turkish sweet with a long history. Its consistency resembles jelly, and it is made from a combination of sugar, starch, and aromatic substances. It can be found in various flavors and colors. My favorite is pomegranate-flavored lokum with pistachios and wild raisins.
One of the most characteristic features of Turkish delight is its soft, jelly-like texture. Sugar and starch, which are the basic ingredients of the recipe, are first cooked to create a thick syrup. The syrup is then flavored with various ingredients, such as rose water, lemon, or pistachios. After solidifying, the mixture is cut into small cubes and coated in fine sugar.
According to legend, the sweet was created at the request of a sultan who had rotten teeth and wanted to enjoy something he could chew. The first lokum shop was established in Istanbul in 1775, and since then, it has become very popular. You can enjoy lokum on its own, often served with a cup of Turkish tea or coffee. Some people also like to add it to desserts (for example, it is used in Romanian sweet bread cozonac).
There are truly a huge number of lokum variations. In Turkey, there are confectionery companies that specialize in it, one of which is Koska, which has branches all over Istanbul. If you haven’t tasted lokum yet, it’s definitely worth trying. You will enjoy not only its taste but also the tradition associated with it.
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Accommodation in Istanbul
I wholeheartedly endorse the Mest Hotel located directly in the heart of Istanbul. The hotel is elegantly renovated, the breakfasts are incredible and the views are spectacular. I last stayed here in the fall of 2022 and will definitely be back again.