Turkish Delight Lokum Countlan Issue 06
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Lokum if you Got’Em

Issue 06

Bridging the flavours and candy-making traditions of the Ottoman Empire with the modern palate, 206-year-old Şekerci (confectioner) Cafer Erol is a multi-generational, family-run institution in Istanbul’s Kadıköy neighbourhood.

Cafer Erol Istanbul

“My grandfather’s grandfather started making candy in 1807 during the time of the Ottoman Empire,” says Yonca Erol, assistant manager of Şekerci Cafer Erol and a fifth-generation member of the family business. “When economic conditions worsened and they could not find raw materials to make hard sugar candy, they had to stop. In 1945, after WWII, my grandfather started making candy again.”

Cafer Erol Istanbul

Şekerci Cafer Erol’s colourful window displays of hard sugar candies (akide) in glass jars sit alongside marzipan figurines, fruit jellies and nut pastes. These are just some of the confections produced in-house that beckon passersby to come inside. The shop’s specialty is lokum, also known as Turkish delight.

Cafer Erol Istanbul

Their headquarters, in Kadıköy’s bustling shopping area, produces nearly 30 types of Turkish delight made from various spices, fruits, nuts and flowers. “On a normal day, we sell 500 to 600 kilograms of lokum,” says Erol. During the year, if you include all the feasts, we sell 250 tonnes of lokum.”

Cafer Erol Istanbul

Cafer Erol Istanbul
Photo Source: Şekerci Cafer Erol

How to serve and enjoy Turkish delight:
Yonca Erol, Şekerci Cafer Erol, Istanbul

Turkish Delight Lokum Countlan Issue 06

Turkish Delight Lokum Countlan Issue 06

When and how is lokum typically served?

“Lokum is served by itself or alongside a Turkish coffee. It is typically eaten after a meal, although sometimes we serve it at the beginning if guests are visiting. We also serve lokum if there is a religious holiday or occasion. However, it is usually the guest who brings lokum as a gift.”

Turkish Delight Lokum Countlan Issue 06

What is your favourite flavour of lokum?
“Double-roasted pistachio, and rose petal.”

Turkish Delight Recipes To Try:

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