Tourists around the world come to live this unique and whimsical moment of eating Turkish ice cream (or « dondurma » in Turkish).
The small oriental-decorated counters attract crowds with the repetitive shouts of a young man dressed with an Ottoman waistcoat (or « fur » in Turkish), who yells “DONDURMA”, gesturing his arms excessively to take out the entire block of ice cream container.
Turkish ice cream is renowned for its elastic feature which makes it a fun product to handle for our ice cream acrobats, and a pleasure to taste for lovers of ice cream. We mostly hear about Italian ice creams but Turkey is also a great producer!
The manufacture of Maras ice cream dates back three centuries. The anecdote tells that it was invented by mistake! Indeed, a merchant in the city of Kahramanmaras, in eastern Turkey, would have left his sahlep (Turkish milky drink based on orchid) outside in low temperatures. In the morning, he realized that the texture, in addition to being completely frozen, had an exquisite taste.
Based on mastic, whipped cream, sugar and of course sahlep, this ice cream is diverse and can be found in different flavours. There is a flavour for everyone and each taste: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, pistachio, etc. Just give it a try, it is an experience that you will not forget.
Orchids are mainly found in the Anti-Taurus mountains. The popularity of this ice cream has been endangering the wild orchid, which is now on the verge of extinction. Consequently, the Turkish government has banned the export of sahlep abroad.
The folklore of Turkish ice cream which is played for tourists and locals is a lot of fun and makes it a main point of interest for your trip to Istanbul and all over Turkey. Many videos and photos circulate on the net, giving it an international popularity.
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