Lokma: The Intriguing and Delicious Story
You might already love eating lokma, or you might have never heard of it. If you’re in the latter category, it might be because this bite-size dessert has so many different names: lokma, loukoumádes, zeppola, sfinge or zvingoi. While the names and countries of origin of this dessert vary greatly, one can always expect the same decadent taste and puffy texture of this Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern treat. Before we get into this territory, let’s take a look at the history of this dessert.
Where does the Lokma come from?
The exact origin of lokmas is hard to pinpoint. There are many historical records mentioning them, but no one is sure of where they first appeared. First of all, this dish is considered to be one of the oldest desserts in Greek history. According to the ancient Greek poet Callimachus, they were given to victorious Olympic athletes as rewards, or as they called it, honey tokens. Lokmas could also be found in the Arab world in the early medieval period. They are mentioned in several recipe books of the time, and even in the One Thousand and One Nights.
They were widespread as well in the Ottoman Empire, appearing first in the sultan’s palace then into the general society. The empire was influenced by the cuisines of other nearby countries. There is an even older documentation of lokmas: it was found in the tomb of Ramses IV, an Egyptian Pharaoh who died in 1149 BC! Not to mention lokma’s close resemblance to a similar Italian dessert, zeppola, and a Greek Jewish one, zvingoi. Even though the origin of the dish is disputed, you can’t get more Mediterranean than this!
Crispy and golden outside and soft and light inside.
What is Lokma dessert?
So, what makes a typical lokma dessert? Well, naturally, it depends. To begin with, it is a dough ball made with a mixture of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt, which is deep-fried and then bathed in syrup or honey. Other than that, the recipe varies. The Turkish and Greek versions are made using yeast, while the Italian and Jewish ones are sweetened with ricotta cheese, jam or custard. Sometimes they are topped with sesame seeds, a coulis or a syrup.
A good lokma is crispy and golden outside and soft and light golden inside. According to common wisdom, you should hear the noise of crispness when you bite into it. It should be juicy inside, but not doughy. Since lokmas are a popular street food in many countries, each vendor can improvise and add their own personal touch. But in the end, what stays consistent is the rich honey taste, the spongy texture, and the smiles it produces!
Lokma handed as charity and relief work, Denizli (Sevindik), Turkey
Lokmas are traditionally made in big amounts and served to large groups of people at special occasions such as weddings, openings of workplaces, and even at funeral ceremonies. Not to mention, they became popular treats to be eaten at the beach. But between you and us, any occasion is good to have these irresistible desserts. Let’s now check out the different kinds of topping lokmas can offer you.
Lokma with various toppings
While Lokma is addictive by itself, you are now able to get Lokmas in the topping of your choice: whether you go on the traditional route with date syrup, honey, or indulge with chocolate topping (dark, white, milk), caramel, maple syrup, cream cheese, Nutella, cinnamon, fruit syrup (e.g., raspberries, strawberries), cut fruits (e.g., strawberries, bananas), nuts (e.g., peanuts, pecans, walnuts) and Graham cracker crumbs.
Lokma with green pistachio topping
No matter what topping you choose, we hope that you will enjoy these irresistible bite-size treats. Search whether there are locations near you that offer Lokma.