Lokum - a sweet specialty of Turkey

Being small, sweet, colorful and brightening the joy and happiness that's what people say when referring to Lokum candy of the beautiful Turkish country.

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As a place of interference between the two continents of Europe and Asia, Turkey possesses a rich culture, history, and cuisine. Besides the dishes with Eurasian taste, the Turks also have many unique candies. One of their most famous sweet dishes is the colorful marshmallows called Lokum.

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Lokum is also known as the Turkish Delight, which is one of the most popular and oldest sweet dishes in this country. You can find the candy sold on trolleys and in markets in every corner of Turkey.

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It's just a pretty small sweet candy, but there are quite a few explanations about its birth. The most popular story is that in the 17th century, the 27th Ottoman Emperor - Abdul Hamit I ordered chefs to create a delicious dessert, to please his beauties. Another story is that the creator of this candy is Hadji Bekir, a skilled candy maker in the capital of Istanbul.

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In the original recipe, Lokum is made from precious frankincense resin, combined with honey, grape honey and flour, bringing with it a delicate aroma, lovely light pink colors made from rose, lemon, and mint. Roses bring pink color, lemons bring a little tart balance with sweet honey and mint leaves create a pleasant savor.

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Because the technology produced at the time was not yet developed and frankincense resin was very valuable, Lokum was considered a candy for nobility.

The lovely soft marshmallows wrapped in lace handkerchiefs have become a luxury gift of the elite. In addition, couples who love each other also consider giving Lokum candy as an act of showing love.

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By the end of the 17th century, thanks to the introduction of sucrose and fine starch, Lokum candy was more widely produced and became popular with the common people.

After conquering the entire country of Turkey, Lokum continues to assert its position when following the merchants to Arab and the whole Balkan region and immediately gaining popularity in the places it went. People even described it as a miracle, with a subtle flavor and a pleasant feeling for enjoyment.

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Nowadays, the candy has been created with flavors not only roses, lemons, and mint, but also strawberries, oranges, grapes, and nuts of all colors. However, Lokum candy produced in the traditional way is very sweet, so to eat this kind of food people often drink a cup of tea and sip slowly. 

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With developments like today, wherever you are in the world, you can find Turkish Delight boxes in candy stalls. Therefore, Lokum is not just a marshmallow, but it is also representative of the unique Turkish culinary culture.

By: Roxana Edwards

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