Do you like profiteroles? I’m not the biggest fan, to speak for myself. But if it is the Inci Patisserie in Taksim, this changes. When I enter this beautiful and old Istanbul patisserie, profiterole suddenly becomes my favorite dessert. You ask why? Buckle up, I am telling the story now…
Luka Zigoris and his partner Lefter Ilyadis opened Inci Patisserie in 1944. This patisserie first opened its doors at the place where it will work for about 68 years, in the historical building (named Cercle D’Orient) number 124 in Beyoglu, Istiklal Street.
The foundations of Inci Patisserie
In fact, in the early 1940s, Luka Zigoris rented an atelier opposite Galatasaray High School with his partner as a pastry shop. In this atelier, he started to sell the dessert that nobody knows in Istanbul named “profiterole” and produced those in his own style. Consequently, the people of Istanbul loved this different pastry a lot. Thereupon, Zigoris expanded his business and rented a shop on the famous Istiklal Street. Thus, Inci Pastanesi, which has been one of the starting points of many romantic stories on Istiklal Street for more than 80 years now, started its activities.
Many local sources say that this cocoa covered dessert named profiterole was invented by Luka Zigoris in Inci Patisserie. However, of course, this is not the truth. This dessert has been known in Europe since the beginning of the 17th century. And people think that it has a French or Italian origin. Apparently, Zigoris did not invent profiterole but introduced this dessert to the people of Istanbul. He did this by producing a profiterole that is beautiful enough to be addictive.
Moving to the new location
Musa Ates, today’s keeper of this famous patisserie, took his first step to the patisserie at the age of 12. Mr.Ates tells that he went into the Patisserie when he was a student and asked for a job. The answer he received when he first went was: “You are a student, we cannot give you a job here”. While he was saying “well, thank you, no problem”; the guys inside made him get back inside by calling him again just as he was leaving the shop. They asked him to come whenever he has spare time from his school, and his journey there started.
Today, Musa Ates still runs the Patisserie, which indeed is inherited by Mr.Zigoris’s daughter. He received great support from Istanbul residents during the process of moving from the old place to the present location. He emphasizes that they continued to work exactly in the same way, after Mr. Zigoris has passed.
In short, the situation is as follows. If you go to Istiklal Street for any reason, this is a “must visit” place. You may not like Profiterole, but the dessert here is not Profiterole that you already know.
Inci Profiterole, a legend
So much so that in the past, in the old place, you had to go into the shop, order the profiterole, take it immediately, and eat it right away. Because you wouldn’t want to steal the time of people waiting in the line, right on top of your shoulder. In that already small shop, you would immediately start to live the dream of the next time you will eat the same thing, after finishing the most wonderful dessert you have eaten throughout your life. That dessert you ate quite quickly on small tables and stools.
Now, in its new place, there is a calmer environment, you can sit comfortably and eat for a longer time. Hopefully…
How to get the best profiterol from Inci Patisserie
However, there is of course nothing that varies in the taste and quality of profiteroles. On the other hand, you certainly should ask when the new tray will come out when you enter the shop. I would suggest you have your dessert when it’s hot, just out of the oven. Or you may wait for it if it’s about to be served in a short time.
Of course, if you have the opportunity to come again, do it like this. If you don’t have any chance to come back again, just enjoy whatever you have there. If you go for the hot served one, you should know that you will miss this profiterole all your life…