History of Turkish Delight (Lokum)
Turkish Delight, traditionally known as Lokum, is a confectionary treat that originated in Turkey and spread across the globe. The gummy, sugarcoated candy was invented in 1777 by famous confectioner Bekir Effendi (known as Haci Bekir after the Muslim hajj pilgrimage). Haci Bekir owned a candy shop in the Bahcekapi district of Istanbul. Amazingly Haci Bekir’s shop is still open today in the exact same location. Run by his descendents, Haci Bekir Confectioners is in its fifth generation. It is the oldest company in Turkey to operate from its original location. It now has representative companies in England, Egypt, South Africa, Japan, France and America. The company sells Lokum in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, orange, lemon, clotted cream, rose, cinnamon, bergamot, pineapple, honey and mint flavors.
Haci Bekir’s descendants believe the first recipe for Lokum was based on an Anatolian sweetmeat traditionally made using honey or grape molasses (pekmez) as sweeteners and flour and water as a binding agent.