An Exotic Pleasure - Haci Bekir Turkish Delight

Turkish delight is a delicacy which couldn't have been more aptly named - as it became known in Europe thanks to an English tourist who took the heavenly treat home with him and caused a small sensation.

While the very first versions of Turkish delight were invented by 16th century Ottoman confectioners, it went through several versions over the centuries until it was honed to perfection. The most popular types today are the pistachio, rose, coconut and almond, mint and the mastic. In truth, it's extremely difficult to choose a favourite as there are more than thirty varieties and they are all delicious.

A popular variety: Rose flavoured Turkish delight.
Haci Bekir first opened his little confectionery shop in Istanbul in 1777 where he would produce his delicacies in a small section in the back. Today, despite growing into several shops and earning worldwide renown, the authentic little shop in Bahcekapi, Istanbul is still run by the fifth generation of his family and they have carefully preserved his stove and equipment in the back room. It is the oldest business in Turkey operating from the same premises for nearly 250 years now.

Haci Bekir working at his counter: depicted in 'The Confectioner' by Count Preziosi. This painting now hangs in the Louvre Museum. Image: Orientalist Art

The same counter: the Bahcekapi shop today.

Although eating and sharing Turkish delight is traditionally saved for guests, special religious holidays or bearing as a gift to a dinner party in Turkey, we believe it is one of the ultimate feel-good treats to rival chocolate. Just a bite instantly makes you feel like a goddess (or a sultan).

Good quality, delicious Turkish delight can be bought in many reputable places in Istanbul and the luxurious treat is just one of those inimitable things that make us say, 'Turks do it better.'

Haci Bekir, Hamidiye Cad No. 81,Bahcekapi/Istanbul 34110
Tel: +90 212 522 85 43
Image credits: Haci Bekir A.S.

No comments:

Post a Comment