Turkish Delight: Lokum Varieties and Turkish Delight Ingredients

Turkish Delight

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Turkish Delight

Turkish delight is one of the most famous Turkish desserts both in Turkey and in Europe. It can be explained as a sweet which include within itself water, sugar and starch. For Turkey delight candy is one of the most important nourishment as well. Even though many people think that people living in Turkey eat up and prefer syrupy and frys Turkish delight is much more preferred. Although there was Turkish delight in every house during the Ottoman period, it is now traditionally served alongside Turkish coffee. It is such a famous food that it has been featured in many movies and has even been the subject of lyrics by famous singers. For example, if you remember, the Witch character in Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, offers him Turkish delight to attract a child character named Edmund to his side. Another example is in Madonna's song Hard Candy, there is a lyric goes on ‘I've got Turkish delight baby and so much more’. There are times when it is also used as slang. Although it is a sexist discourse, this phrase is used by foreigners to describe beautiful women living in Turkey.

History of Turkish Delight

History of Turkish Delight

The dessert ‘abhisa’, which was frequently consumed by the Sassanids who ruled in the Persian Empire, is known as the origin of the lokum, although it is not certain. Hacı Bekir Efendi is regarded as one of the first producers of Turkish delight. He came to Istanbul from Kastamonu in 1777 and set up a shop in Bahçekapi and started to produce Turkish delight in this shop. He was appointed by the sultan of the time as the confectioner of the palace. Derived from the Ottoman word 'throat reliever', lokum has been known in Anatolia since the 15th century but became widespread in the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century. In Europe, it started to be known as 'Turkish delight' in the 18th century by the help of an English traveler. It is also known as Turkish delight candy in many regions of Europe.

How to make Turkish Delight? What is Turkish delight made of?

How to make Turkish Delight? What is Turkish delight made of?

The question of what's in Turkish delight can be explained in two different ways. Turkish delight, which was previously produced with a mixture of honey or molasses and flour, started to be produced with the help of refined sugar and starch after a while. That is why, the answer to the question how to define delight changed substantially. One of the most important features of Turkish delights is its sensitivity and flexibility. A well-made delight should expand like a plastic or sponge when pressed on it, and the materials on it should return to its original shape without sticking to the hands. Starch provides transparency and brightness, which are other important properties of Turkish delight candy. It can be imagined as a Turkish vegan jelly. 

If you ask an easy Lokum Recipe, here you go:

Turkish delight ingredients:
  • 1 kg of granulated sugar 

  • Half a liter of water 

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 

  • 1 cup starch 

  • Half cup of water 

  • 2 g cream of tartar

For the ornament: 
  • 1/2 cup starch 

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Put granulated sugar and water in a pot. Boil it over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and add the lemon juice. Boil it until it thickens slightly. Remove the foam that has accumulated on it. Whisk a cup of starch and half a cup of water in a bowl. Add the boiling water gradually, stirring constantly. Add cream of tartar and boil until it becomes like a paste. Grease a high sided pan. Pour the mushy marshmallow into the tray and let it cool. Mix powdered sugar and starch on a flat surface and spread. Turn the tray upside down and get the Turkish delight. Cut it into two finger thick strips. Put the strips in powdered sugar and cut into cubes. Put the Turkish delight you have prepared in powdered sugar again and keep it in the refrigerator.

How to serve?

Turkish delight is famous for being a dessert belonging to the palace cuisine. Therefore, as it is a dessert that requires extra care in its presentation, it is generally served in porcelain, silver, glass or copper treats.

If you remember, we previously told you the story about Turkish coffee and Turkish delight and talked about the importance of making coffee with the right technique:
Lokum Varieties and Turkish delight flavors

Lokum Varieties and Turkish delight flavors

Turkish delight flavors are very various. There are many types with plain, hazelnut, coconut, Turkish pistachio, walnut, almond, orange, strawberry and lemon, vanilla and rose and the leaves of roses Turkish delight. Turkish delights ingredients can be varied but the taste is never changed. 

One of the most commonly asked questions is generally based upon the Turkish delight calories. Approximately 10 gr. Turkish delight is 38 calories. If you are asking to know the nutritional values, a Turkish delight contains 9,2 carbohydrates. 

What are the Benefits of Turkish Delight?
  • Due to the consumption of protein-containing foods, it helps to eliminate the harmful substances accumulated in the body.

  • Since it contains high doses of protein, consuming only 4 Turkish delight is enough for our daily protein needs.

  • It helps to reduce inflammation for the people with tonsillitis.

  • It can increase sugar in the blood. Therefore, people with diabetes should be careful when consuming lokum, but if you are not diabetic, lokum prevents cardiovascular diseases.

  • It can be burned in a very short time and converted into energy.

  • It is very useful for the skin. Generally, people trying to lose weight use Turkish delight to relieve edema.

  • It heals boils and wounds. 

  • It prevents the formation of sand and stones in our kidneys.

  • It is seen as a great remedy for scars and acne.

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