Legendary Ice Cream That Does Not Melt | The Thinking Blog ~ Knowledge Grows When Shared
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07 October 2007

Legendary Ice Cream That Does Not Melt

Two features distinguish Turkish ice cream: texture and resistance to melting. It is much tougher and chewier than that of the ice cream used in sundaes, gelato or commercially produced ice cream. The unusual texture is produced by the use of salep (a flour made from dried orchid tubers) and mastic resin as thickening agents, together with other flavorings. It is sometimes sold from carts as street food, where the mixture is churned regularly with long-handled paddles to keep it workable.

Orchis masculaPistacia lentiscus
It Doesnt Melt

The Kahramanmaraş region is known for its distinct ice cream, Maraş dondurması, which contains more salep than usual; it is much tougher and stickier, and may even require a knife and fork to eat. Some of the internationally-known ice-cream companies like Mado and EDO started their business in this ice-cream city and thousands of people visit Kahramanmaraş, just because of its ice-cream. The humorous method of serving it is typical of Turkish ice-cream vendors:

BBC reports "it is so popular that part of the city of Istanbul has become known as the 'ice cream district' and regularly jams up with traffic, such is the demand to sample the dessert." However, the popularity of the salep flavor in Turkish ice cream has caused a decline in the populations of the region's wild orchids. For this reason it is illegal to ship true salep out of the country.

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