Every city has its obligatory culinary destination. If you were to choose one for Istanbul, this would probably be a Lokum shop. These very typical sweets is loved by millions of tourists across the world, and it makes for the perfect souvenir to bring back home after a holiday in the old city of Constantinople.
There are many different kind of Lokums: the feature that is common to all is that they are made using starch and sugar as a base, and have a gel–like consistency. There are many flavors; they vary from rose, to mint and even cinnamon. The most expensive one include dried nuts and fruits, and most varieties are sprinkled with powered sugar keeping them from sticking together. In the original recipe, honey was used as a sweetener and flour as a binding agent, but this was changed over the course of time.
Istanbul is also where Lokum was invented. While visiting the city you have the possibilities of entering the shop where it was first created: Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir is open since 1777 and has been serving these delicacies know to the Arabs as rahat al-qum.
If you wish to taste this local delicacy loved all across the world, do not forget to book your hotel in Istanbul!