Whether you call it λουκούμι, rahat lokum or rahat-ul hulkum you will get the same “Throat Comfort” as the Turkish translation of the term describes.
Lokum was invented by Bekir Affendi who came to Istanbul in 1777 from the eastern province of Anatolia. His first shop, Haci Bekir, which is in a narrow street close to the spice bazaar, is still owned by his descendants and run by the fifth generation of families he originally employed.
The Turkish name for the sweet originally comes from the Arabic rahat-ul hulkum, which means to “soothe or heal the throat“. This was abbreviated to rahat lokum and then lokum. The name “Turkish delight” evolved in the 18th century when an English traveler took home some of Bekir’s produce to his relatives. He could not pronounce the Arabic name and so coined it Turkish delight. The name stuck like syrup.
We can find the same product in many different countries, only under another name so that the people can pronounce the name of the sweet.
In Greek the word λουκούμι is also used to describe when a food is really well cooked, so it actually describes a “throat comfort”!
Are you still interested and curious about how it tastes? So why not try to make it at home! Here is the recipe:
Lokum (Turkish delight)
- 2oz/55g cornflour
- 1 lb/450g sugar
- .75 pint/375ml water
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp rosewater
- Icing sugar
Lay a piece of muslin in an 8in/20cm square tin and dust it with cornflour. Boil the sugar, water and lemon juice in a saucepan, stirring constantly.
Mix the rosewater and cornflour in a separate bowl, then slowly add to the saucepan, stirring over a medium heat. When the mixture thickens to jelly, pour it into the tin and let it cool. Turn on to a surface dusted with icing sugar. Cut into squares and cover generously with the icing sugar. If you want to add nuts, mix them in once you’ve removed the lokum from the heat.
And of course good luck and enjoy!!
- Wikipedia (2017), Turkish delight. Available at: http://bit.ly/2eLV2oe (Accessed at 08/09/2017)
- Turkishsubs (2017), Turkish delight. Available at: http://bit.ly/2wNLbct (Accessed at 08/09/2017)
- The Telegraph (2017), Sweet little history. Available at: http://bit.ly/2eLK6Hi (Accessed at 08/09/2017)
- Institute for Dynamich language Learning (2010), Turkish delight, “English Delight. Available at: http://bit.ly/2xTR4lO (Accessed at 08/09/2017).
Written by Marina Parisaki, Study visitor at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). Graduated from the European Master in Translation (EMT) in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.
Proofread by Flora Zempleni – Study visitor in the communication team of the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). She is currently enrolled in the trilingual Master in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Context at the University of Luxembourg.
Prepared by Pedro Ramos – Translator, Social Media and Content Manager, Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg).