Delian Turkish Delight
The story of the creation of Turkish Delight (Lokum) begins in the late 1700s, when Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir, confectioner to the imperial court in Istanbul, listens to he sultan rant: "Hard candy! I'm tired of hard candy! I demand soft candy “as he cracked a tooth on yet another sourball!
Marching into his confectioner's kitchen, he thought up a recipe, mixing water, sugar, corn starch, cream of tartar and rosewater; cooked it up, poured the mixture into a flat pan slicked with almond oil, and let it cool. Then he sprinkled it with powdered sugar, cut it into bite-sized chunks and after serving the morsel; started waiting with trembling hands, eyes bright with anticipation, his mind fraught with trepidation, his lips quivering to receive the verdict, and then the Sultan bit!
Finding out that there was no crack of candy crunched by his Majesty’s jaw; no shower of sugary splinters scattering through oral cavities, he was delighted to hear the Sultan declare that this new confection was “soft and easy to chew, a pleasure, a treat for both palate and teeth, merely “comfortable morsel!”
The new sweet was thus named rāḥat al-ḥulqūm which, in Arabic means "Throat Comfort” or“ comfortable morsel”, later getting simplifed as “Lokum”. Needless to say, Ali Muhiddin became a celebrity overnight, and opened up his shop in a nearby district of the Palace in 1777.
This delightful Ottoman confectionery was originally sweetened with honey and molasses, using water and flour as binding agents, with rosewater, lemon peel and bitter orange as the most common flavors; and Hacı Bekir introduced the use of glucose 1811, shortly after it had been discovered, beginning mass production. It was this version of the lokum that a tourist brought home to England in the early 19th century and enjoyed so much as to prompt the English name; even The Oxford Companion states that lokum was originally called “lumps of delight” once it made its appearance in England.
We, at Delian, are proud to bring to you this traditional sweet, and introduce it as the Mediterranean Fika , served in bitesizes with your tea or coffee.