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  Title: Rahat Lokum
Feb 6, 2008 - 2:38 pm
Posted By: 6apa6a

Turkish Delight, lokum, loukoum or rahat lokum is a confection made from starch and sugar. It is often flavored with rosewater and lemon, the former giving it a characteristic pale pink color. It has a soft, jelly-like and sometimes sticky consistency, and is often packaged and eaten in small cubes that are dusted with sugar or copra to prevent sticking. Some types contain small nut pieces, usually pistachio, hazelnut or walnuts. Other common types include flavors such as cinnamon or mint.

Home-made rahat lokum


Reay Tannahill suggests that the Persian confection ahbisa (jelly) was the ancestor of Turkish rahat lokum (Corrupted from the Arabic name Rahat al-halkom راحه الحلقوم'contentment of the throat' and shortened to raha or halkom), the long name for the sweet.

According to the Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir Company of Istanbul, founded in 1777, lokum was popularized by them during the 19th century.

Lokum was introduced to the west in the 19th century. An unknown Briton became very fond of the delicacy during his travels to Istanbul, and purchased cases of lokum, to be shipped back to Britain under the name Turkish Delight. It became a major delicacy not only in Britain, but throughout continental Europe.


The Turkish word lokum may come from lokma in Turkish or لقوم lukuum, the Arabic plural of لقمة luqma(t) 'morsel' or 'mouthful'. Alternatively, it may have derived from Ottoman rahat hulkum or Arabic راحة الحلقم rahat al-hulkum 'contentment of the throat'. In Libya, for example, it is known as حلقوم ḥalgūm.

In English, it was formerly called "lumps of delight".

Around the world

In North America, Turkish Delight is not especially common, but it forms the basic foundation of the Big Turk and Fry's Turkish Delight chocolate bars. It is also the basis for most of Liberty Orchards' line of confectionery, including Aplets & Cotlets and is the state candy of Washington. It is known in Brazil (called rahat) due to Lebanese immigration.

Armenian, Cypriot, Greek (called "λουκούμι", loukoumi), Albanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian (Albanian: "llokum", Bulgarian and Macedonian: "локум", lokum), Romanian (called "rahat"), Russia as well as in some former Yugoslav states like Bosnia and Herzegovina (called "rahat lokum"), or Serbia ("ратлук", ratluk), Iranian and other Middle Eastern cuisines also have sweets similar to Turkish delight. In Cyprus, Turkish Delight is marketed in English as Cyprus Delight, in resentment to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Jelly desserts are also common in Asia, but they are entirely different from the composition of Turkish Delight and that of other Middle Eastern cuisines: Korean chapssaeltteok, similar to Japanese mochi, is a sweet cake made from sticky rice and usually filled with sweet red bean paste. China has a similar cake too, usually using sesame paste as well as red beans. The Indonesian version, the sticky 'dodol' is made with rice flour, palm sugar and santan (coconut milk). It is sometimes flavoured with the durian fruit.

In India there are sweets known as halwas which have a similar texture, though they taste quite different. Types of halwa are identified by the region from which they are believed to originate such as Bombay halwa and Tirunelveli halwa.

In Ex-Yugoslav countreys, especialy in Bosnia it is a common to eat Rahat lokum while drinking coffee

In popular culture

Turkish Delight is the addictive confection to which Edmund Pevensie succumbs in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Sales of the confection rose following the theatrical release of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Entry Edited 3 times - Edited on Feb 6, 2008 - 2:43 pm

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