Lokum, Turkish delight, invented during the 18th Century in Istanbul and it did not take long for this sweet to become the darling of the Ottomans as well as Europeans and the whole world today. Turkish delight is based on a gel of starch and sugar consisting of chopped dates, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts … flavored with rosewater, mastic, Bergamot orange or lemon…
Haci Bekir, Father of Turkish Delight
A world-wide famous Turkish sweet shop, father of Turkish delight, Haci Bekir became a legend in Turkish confectionery and a leading symbol of this art from the time of its founding during the Ottoman Empire. The Hacı Bekir story began in 1777 when Bekir Efendi moved from Kastamonu to Istanbul. Here, he opened a small shop in the Bahçekapı district of what we now call the Old City, in which he began to produce and sell varieties of lokum, or Turkish delight and akide candy, the boiled sweets much loved by Turks. On fulfilment of his religious obligation to make pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Bekir Efendi became known as Hacı Bekir, a title of respect granted to those who have completed the hac, or pilgrimage.
Today, Hacı Bekir’s tradition is being carried on by the family as Ali Muhiddin Haci Bekir Confectioners, and the company can proudly say that this first shop represents the only business in Istanbul which has operated from the same premises for a period of more than two hundred years.
Taken from official Hacı Bekir web site www.hacibekir.com.tr
Did you know?
- Hacı Bekir is the oldest company in Turkey and one of the oldest in the world.
- An Englishman took some lokum with him to England in the 19th century, afterwards Turkish lokum became famous as “Turkish delight” and “lokum” all over the world?