Lök: Mysterious love of mulberry and walnut
The lök dessert, also called tatuni dessert, dates back to 300 years ago and is made with dried mulberry and walnut. It is said to have been served in palaces in the past and leaves a unique taste in the mouth.
Lök, also known as “the sultan’s dessert,” is almost indispensable for domestic and foreign tourists who come to Kemaliye, which has an important potential in tourism, for vacation.
The dessert, which was once made in places called “lökhane” by beating with a mallet on a mortar stone, is now produced in abundance in the district by using technological opportunities to ensure widespread consumption throughout the country.
Faruk Sağçolak, a 52-year-old “lökhane” owner in the district who has been producing sweets for years, told Anadolu Agency that the beauty of the centuries-old dessert comes from organic products.
The number of people who visit the district to taste lök, which is also defined as the “mysterious love of mulberry and walnut,” is also high, Sağçolak said.
“We dry the mulberry and add the walnut after grinding,” he said. We make lök by making 2,000 to 2,500 strokes with our mallet weighing approximately 12-13 kilograms. This is a kind of dessert that decorates our tables and satisfies the hearts and eyes of our guests,” he said.
The dessert is a major energy source for the body, Sağçolak said.
“Our dessert, which is the combination of mulberry, which makes the intestines work, and walnut, which makes the brain work, is a complete energy source that works both our brain and intestines. Lök is indispensable for young people to develop their bodies and for older people to gain performance,” he added.
Sağçolak said he had bought a special machine to prepare sealed packages for the dessert and lök is sent all across Turkey if ordered, and even abroad.
Mehmet İlhan Şahin, a tourist to Kemaliye, said he was impressed by the natural beauty and the cuisine of the region.
The historic town of Kemaliye (or Eğin) is located in the northwest of the Eastern Anatolian Region, and to the southwest of Erzincan.
Being located over the Silk Road, caravan routes played a significant role in the change of rulers and invasions of Kemaliye, which became an important trade center within the region in the course of time thanks to the transportation carried out over the Euphrates River.
Şahin said he was especially impressed with lök.
“It is very natural in contrast to today’s industrial desserts,” he said.
“It is both healthy and delicious food. I recommend anyone who comes here to try it.”