“That’s Turkish delight,” the gentleman behind the counter at Queens Bazaar Foods told me and my tour group as I held up a box filled with amber colored disks and chunks rolled in pistachio. “Lokum, apricot and pistachio,” he said by way of further explanation.
It was my first time hearing the word lokum. I’d ever seen the confection looking quite like this. I am more accustomed to the gelatinous cubes dusted in white powder. Lebanese lokum is a world apart from those. It puts the delight in Turkish delight. When we left the shop my tour guests and I noshed on a few bites. Everyone agreed the chewy morsels flavored with pistachio, apricot, and rosewater were amazing. We only ate a little bit as we’d just taken down a gigantic xachapuri at Marani. I stashed the rest away, with the plan of writing about the best Lebanese sweets in Rego Park.
Later that evening I had a little Turkish delight for a snack, making sure to reserve a few for some photos. You can see from the above shot how that plan worked out. A little Turkish delight turned out to be the entire box. Such is the power of Lebanese lokum.
So I returned to the shop to take some shots of my new favorite Lebanese sweetmeat. That’s when I noticed that they also come in individually wrapped larger pieces. I bought precisely three. One was an apricot number consisting of a core of chewy goodness flecked with nuts, a layer of nougat, and an outer ring of what we used to call fruit leather. The other two were pistachio. And to think some people say I have no self control.
Queens Bazaar Food, 94-02 63rd Dr., Rego Park, 718-459-5536