Ice cream is called dondurma in Turkish. What make it different from other ice creams around the world is its texture and flavor. If you have tasted it in Turkey or somewhere else, you know what I mean. Turkish Ice Cream has an elastic texture and its lovely flavor comes from salep, which is the powder of orchid bulbs. Although it has the flavor of salep, it is known as plain ice cream –sade dondurma in the country and nonone calls it salep ice cream. I made it at home for the first time and it turned out pretty amazing, as yummy and gummy as the ones we buy from vendors or cafes. Don’t worry if you don’t have an ice cream maker, this recipe doesn’t require one.
Turkish ice cream is very dense and chewable, so it doesn’t melt easily and you might find it completely different from the regular smooth ice creams you know. If you are an ice cream fan, I highly recommend you to taste this traditional Turkish ice cream. If there is a list of foods to taste before you die, this chewy ice cream must be on the top!
Salep is also the name of an aromatic winter drink, which is a combination of milk, sugar and the powdered orchid bulbs. As Harold McGee claims in his article named Ice Cream That’s a Stretch at The New York Times, this divine ice cream might have been discovered when salep drink was accidentally frozen.
Genuine salep is really pricy here as it has been a rare product even in Turkey, but a very small amount will be enough for you so you don’t have to pay much. The question is, can you find it abroad? I’m not sure if it is sold at middle east markets, but I guess you can find it at online markets.
This ice cream is a perfect dessert on its own, but you can also serve it alongside with some fruit desserts like this Grilled Pineapple with Ice Cream.