Şekerci Cafer Erol
Craving a sugar-rush but don't necessarily care for the baklava crowds of Güllüoğlu? Take a trip to Kadıköy and ask a local for Şekerci Cafer Erol. It's not a hard place to miss, as it is located in the crowded Kadıköy square not far from the ferry docks, and as it is oftentimes filled with eager customers looking to buy their share of sweets, which includes plenty more than just baklava.
Here's a little history about Şekerci Cafer Erol. Lokum (Turkish delight) was originally made with honey, molasses and flour. However, by the 19th century, refined sugar had infiltrated nearly all confectionaries in the Empire and so, this new sweetener soon replaced the honey in lokum. Indeed, with the advent of refined sugar, different shops had to create all new recipes to include such a new ingredient. Şekerci Cafer Erol was one of these shops. Founded in 1807, the company created their own recipes for all things sweet. Over the years Cafer Erol passed down the secrets of his work from one generation to the next. Today, the company is run by the same family, using the same secrets, along with some new additions and adaptions. Indeed, it continues to prove its worth through its trove of treats. This is the place to go if you want to choose from a wide range of traditional Turkish sweets. Not to mention, you will always get a good deal for the quality and the service you receive.
Over the years, this sweet shop has garnered a very loyal customer base that returns time and time again for over 25 varieties of lokum, from traditional rose flavored to those with mastic. For those who are not a fan of the gummy delights, try the equally historical akide şekeri (hard candies) with flavors that range from bergamot to sesame. You'll find other traditional sweets such as Şam Tatlısı (or şambali, Damascus dessert, semolina spunge cake served with hot syrup); plain, strawberry, lemon flavored ezmeler (Turkish marzipan); jöle (soft fruit-flavored sweets), draje (sugar- and chocolate- coated nuts) and their special line of chocolate.
If you are gifting these sweets, you'll also be able to find a silver or copper tray to present them in. The shop also carries baby shower products as well as packaged candies given on Mevlid, a holiday celebrating the birth of the prophet.
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