Each corner of Istanbul is full of different flavors, some new and some old. Among all the selections the city has to offer, sweet confections have always caught my eye and caused me to break my diet. Undoubtedly, the sweet treats found in Istanbul's Beyoğlu and Sultanahmet districts offer traditional delicacies that are as old as the city itself.
I want to tell you about some of the city's oldest confectioners. Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir, a confectioner who established his candy store in 1777, founded the longest continually operating factory in Istanbul. Its sparkling and lively branches are located in Beyoğlu and Kadıköy. The original candy jars with cone-shaped caps look very charming and put me under their spell. I highly recommend the violet flower hard candy as well as the coffee flavored Turkish delight. Another dessert, called quince paste, is my personal favorite. The chocolates and almond pastes in this confectionery are also very famous. I suggest that you try their homemade jams, which are all-natural and delicious. If your taste buds are tired of tasting these sugary treats, you should try the tamarind sherbet drink to refresh your palate.
My next recommendation is the Hafız Mustafa Turkish Delight shop, established in 1864. Here you will find world-famous baklava and milky desserts, all made fresh daily. The products in this confectionery are all additive-free. I recommend the pomegranate Turkish delight you will find here. If Turkish baklava is what you are craving, the pistachio "kadayif" dessert is very delicious. The Hafız Mustafa Turkish Delight shop's main branch is located in Taksim square, welcoming you with its historic and colorful flavors.
When we put history and dessert under the spotlight, a major Turkish brand that comes to mind is Koska. Koska's history goes back to the early 1900s, when Hacı Emin opened his first halva shop in Denizli. Later, in 1930, his son Halil İbrahim Adil Dindar came to Istanbul with his sons and, following in his father's footsteps, opened a halva shop in the Koska district that went on to become famous for its unique flavors of halva. The name Koska Halva then became the official trademark of the business. In 1974, at the factory built in Istanbul's Topkapı district, they also started to produce Turkish delight, jams and "koz halva" in addition to traditional halva. Currently, the fourth-generation of family members runs the business, offering many selections of halva, Turkish delight and other desserts to their customers. I recommend the tahini halva because it is the shop's specialty. Also, I can say that their crispy paper halva is the best in Turkey. Make sure to stop by their branch located on İstiklal Avenue. I always make a point to stop here when I am in the area.
With regard to the district of Beyoğlu and the notoriety it has gained for its confectionary delights, it would be a shame not to mention the historical Beyoğlu chocolatier. Established in 1924, the brand has not changed its original recipes or its packaging as long as I have known of the business. The chocolatier sells chocolate in unique gelatin packages that are simple but very nostalgic. The founder, Hacı Hamza, hails from the province of Trabzon. Hamza began his career as a chocolatier after moving to Istanbul from the Black Sea region. The business is also now operated by fourth-generation family members. This chocolatier tastes, which are unmatched and regulars who frequent the shop, prefer selections full of hazelnuts. The white chocolate with pistachios is one of their best confections. It is hard to find a chocolatier that successfully combines these two flavors, but here they do it flawlessly. Stop by this quaint little shop on İstiklal Avenue, and buy a package of treats for your children and loved ones so they can experience nostalgic moments.
Another chocolate that has drawn my attention recently is Pernigotti. This chocolate has now become a formal Turkish brand, unique for its preparation method. Chocolatiers prepare this delicacy using an Italian method known as Gianduia, which has been used by Italian chocolatiers for 155 years. This chocolate is a creamy spread full of hazelnuts with a divine texture. Pernigotti, one of Italy's oldest brands, was acquired by the Toksöz Group in 2013, and has since continued on its path to fame, becoming a global brand with Turkish capital. The brand's product Nocciolato is a whole hazelnut filled with chocolate and hazelnut paste. The delicious treat comes in a variety of flavors as well. Try this chocolate at the first chance you get, which I find to be very nostalgic for its packaging.
Top 3 Restaurants of the Week
Central / Nişantaşı
Chocolate / Bakırköy
Madeo / Karaköy
Top 3 Hotels of the Week
Lavanda / Şile
Nevv Bosphorus / Ortaköy
Magna Pivot / Erciyes
Top 3 People to Follow This Week
Simavi Uluç / Singer
Hande Kasapoğlu / Jewelry Designer
Onur Şekercioğlu / Photographer