Dondurma-lCE CREAM STREET FOOD SWEETS

Turkish ice cream is believed to originate from the city of Maraş—hence the name—and what really sets it apart from other varieties is its resistance to melting and a particularly dense, chewy texture. These qualities are brought by adding two thickening agents to the basic milk and sugar mixture: Arab gum, also known as mastic resin, and salep—a type of flour made from the root of the early purple orchid.


In fact, in the Kahramanmaraş region, ice cream typically contains distinctly more salep than usual, which is why it is sometimes called kesme dondurma—from the Turkish kesmek, meaning to cut—which is the reason why this ice cream variety is usually eaten with a knife and fork.


In Turkey, ice cream is commonly sold in the streets but also in specialized dondurması shops, whose owners will often go out of their way by producing their own salep, apart from using exclusively natural flavorings and milk from goats fed only with thyme, orchid flowers, and milkvetch.