Istanbul’s centuries-old candy store’s turnover goes sour amid inflation blues

Turkiye’s biggest city Istanbul is home to candy stores, some centuries-old but their existence is rendered more difficult with lower than usual turnover as inflation bites the country.

Turkish annual inflation slowed down to 84.4 percent in November 2022, from a 24-year high of 85.5 percent the previous month, easing for the first time in 18 months, official data showed.

Because of the soaring inflation, candy stores in the city of sweets have been seeing a significant decline in turnover recently when it is supposed to be the peak season of the year.

According to Turkish tradition, the best way to wish somebody “a sweet new year” is to share or serve Turkish delights or candies while saying “let’s eat sweet and talk sweet”.

One of the most lustrous candy stores is Şekerci Cafer Erol, poised at the Anatolian side district of Istanbul’s Kadiköy. The store has long been a favourite attraction center for locals and visitors. With its history going back to 1807, the handmade candy store boasts its marzipan, a thumb-sized fondant with 90 percent almond content.

The recipe and production process have been handed down for more than two hundred years. The secret, according to Kanat, a sales manager at the store,of the store’s longevity lies in its insistence on using natural ingredients of origin and handcrafting.

The confectionery has developed more than 300 different flavors in the past two centuries, which have become an indelible memory for generations of people, CCTV wrote. However, the country’s high-standing inflation has left the candy store no choice but to raise prices several times this year.

Containing five different flavours such as rose and hazelnut, a box of traditional Turkish fudge costs about 180 lira, or about 9.60 U.S. dollars, climbing by 80 percent from last year’s 100 lira.


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