From the depths of the East to Ermoupolis in Syros, from Turkey to Greece. A familiar and well-traveled journey for our culture and language, our customs, traditions, aromas, and flavors.
Traditional Turkish delight from Syros
This is how the story of the traditional ‘loukoumi’ (Turkish delight) from Syros began, a dessert that we find for the first time in the Turkish cuisine in the 15th century under the name rahat hulkum, corruption which is the Greek name of the sweet – ‘loukoumi’. According to one version of the story, the creator of loukoumi is the confectioner Hatzi Bekir who was inspired when the sultan protested that he broke his tooth from the hard candy he ate and was finally looking for a soft dessert. Like so many other dishes of Greek cuisine, loukoumi followed the fate and course of people in space and time.
In Greece, loukoumi was introduced in the 19th century, and in different places, different versions have been created that enriched the original recipe. The art of loukoumi arrived from Istanbul to Syros by the craftsmen who was from the island of Chios, and who added the mastic to the recipe.
Authentic loukoumi from Syros
Loukoumi was once the sweet that was not lacking in any Greek home. Even today it is still the perfect accompaniment to a good, traditional Greek coffee. That is why you can always find it in our coffee shop among other coffee accompanying products. Since the early 90’s we have been collaborating with one of the oldest and most well-known producers of loukoumi of Syros, Leivadara family.
The journey of the Leivadaras began, like many other Greeks at the time, from the coasts of Asia Minor, about two centuries ago, bringing with them the recipe for Turkish delight in Chios, which they were then forced to abandon in 1822 with the destruction of the island and reaching Ermoupolis of Syros. The first small workshop under the name “Loukoumia Livadaras” started there.
The loukoumi workshop of the Leivadara family was distinguished early on in the local, but also in the wider domestic market, for the exceptional quality, the pure ingredients, and the traditional style, which is applied in combination with new taste experiments. The first recognition for the workshop came in 1933 from the Thessaloniki Exhibition, while a little later, in 1936, the Pan-Cycladic Exhibition of Traditional Products followed, where it was awarded gold prizes.
In 1984, the craft passed into the hands of today’s owners, the grandchildren of the founder, and so the business began to be modernized with new equipment. In 1987, for the first time in Syros, the Livadara family handicrafts began making ice cream from fresh milk from Syros. At the same time, central points of sale are being created on the beach of Ermoupolis, the capital of the island, and new collaborations are being formed both in Greece and abroad.
Loukoumi, Halva, Halvadopita, Ice Cream & Other Sugary Foods
Today, the business is maintained by Antonis Leivadaras, a third-generation loukoumi maker. The workshop produces loukoumi, halva, halva pies (halvadopita), ice cream, and other sugary delicacies, and exports large quantities of products to France, England, the United States, and Canada.
Like all the products we have in our coffee shop, the loukoumi from Syros and the halva pies of the Leivadara family are prepared with traditional, family recipes and the purest, local ingredients, in order to keep the taste and quality that follows them on their long journey undiminished until today.