Tag Archives: Istanbul

Şekerci Cafer Erol – Istanbul, Turkey

8(above photo Kapat – pistachio paste © Şekerci Cafer Erol)

Şekerci (Confectioner) Cafer Erol

(90)  216 337 1103 Yasa Cad. No:19
Kadiköy, Istanbul, Turkey

7:30am  10:00 pm – daily

Yonca Erol  is foremost a charming woman; she is also a member of the Cafer Erol family, and the manager of  the Şekerci Cafer Erol.  Founded in 1807 this magnificent confectioner store as expanded to five branches around Istanbul.   Yonca was more then happy to chat and lecture us on the different techniques used in the production of their wonderful sweets.  After a thorough tasting and aquiring a variety of gifts for friends and family – Yonca walked us all the way to Ciya, her favorite food spot in Kadiköy (but more about that on a different post :).

2(above photo mix akide candy © Şekerci Cafer Erol)

Cafer Erol  is lined with widow refrigerators holding delectable looing chocolates, filo pastries, halvas, honey cakes, marzipan and a 100 other sweets.  On top of beautiful large glass jars with brass tops, are filled Ottoman sweets.

One such is the “Akide” pulled sugar.  The Erol’s are flavored with honey, real fruit extracts, fresh spices and nuts.  To the untrained eye the might seem like ordinary candy flavored with synthetic components and lots of unhealthy corn syrup; but these confections are exceptional due to technique and the quality of the fresh ingredients.

Our favorite Akide was the bergamot. This candy is made according to the old traditions –  cooking the sugar in copper cauldrons over wood fire to a specific temperatures.  Once it starts cooling and before it fully hardens the flavors are added, and the sugar is pulled.  This is what gives the candy it’s outer shine. We brought some home in some of the fantastical gift containers on offer; a fez hat and sultans’ turbans as well as copper bowls

6(above photo Turkish delight with hazelnut © Şekerci Cafer Erol)

Turkish Delight, or Lokum, is a sweet dating from the 17th century.  It was initially made with honey, molasses and flour.  Through times eventual erosion, the basic components changed to refined sugar and starch; to help it acquire a silkier texture.  Cafer Erol produces about thirty different flavors of this national sweet.

Be sure to swing by, say hello to Yonca and to give a little gift to your sweet tooth!

14(above photo Turkish delight with walnut © Şekerci Cafer Erol)
3(above photo akide candy © Şekerci Cafer Erol)
4 (above photo fruit jelly © Şekerci Cafer Erol)
sekerci-cafer-erol_005 Şekerpare – honey cake


 sekerci-cafer-erol_002Bergamot oil akide candy


Ortaköy – Istanbul, Turkey



Istanbul, Turkey

Below the impressive Bosphorus bridge,  within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, lays the lovely neighborhood of Ortaköy.  One can easily see why in the 16th century, the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent encouraged Turks to move here.  Ortaköy is a sun-drenched stretch of sidewalk made for a day of meandering.

A Sunday brunch is a must at the waterside House Cafe.  Enjoy a lovely meal with a perfect view of the blue on blue water of the bosphorus and the eponymously named Ortaköy, or Mecidiye Mosque.  A beautiful ornate building in the neo-baroque style, the mosque was designed and built in 1854 by Garabet Amira Balyan and his son Nigoğayos Balyan.  This duo was also responsable for the design of  the Dolmabahçe palace. The Ortaköy is one of the most popular landmarks in all of sprawling Istanbul.

Arrive by ferry, the stop is just in front of the mosque.  Then after bunch and a bit of people watching, take a stroll through the weekend flea market in the waterfront plaza and enjoy a hard candy made on the spot.  If you happen to stay, at night, besides the medley of cafes and restaurants, Ortaköy hosts the flashiest super clubs along the embankment.










Yeni Cami – Istanbul, Turkey


Yeni Cami – New Mosque

Rüstem Paşa Mh., 34116
Fatih  Istanbul, Turkey

7:00am –  Dusk

The Yeni Cami or Valide SultanMosque was ordered in in 1597 by the Sultana Safiye, wife of Sultan Murad III, and later Valide Sultan (Queen Mother) of Sultan Mehmed III.

After 1603, the partially constructed structure gradually fell into ruins; and was severely damaged during the Great Fire of Istanbul.  In order to cover costs of restoration and upkeep, the nearby Spice Bazaar was created.

With 66 domes and semi domes in a pyramidal arrangement, the New Mosque dominates the skyline as you approach via ferry.  Although it is not as high up on the tourist list as the Blue Mosque; Yeni Cami holds a more peaceful and mystic aura.