Traditional ice cream is rich in flavor, creamy, and melts in your mouth. Lezzetli Mediterranean Ice Cream puts all the flavor but a lot more chew into its stretchy ice cream, recently launched in select grocery stores in New York.
The product is inspired by the Turkish ice cream called dondurma, which uses salep — a kind of flour made from the roots of a plant in the orchid family — as an ingredient to get its elastic texture.
“In Turkey you can find ice cream that is so stretchy people jump rope with it, which is amazing,” Roberto Escobar, co-founder and COO of Lezzetli, told FoodNavigator-USA. “We wanted to create an ice cream that has that experience of chewiness.”
Unfortunately, the orchids from which salep comes from are in danger of becoming extinct, so the company is unable to import and use the ingredient. Instead, Escobar uses other natural gums and fibers to create ice cream that’s still chewy, but not to the extent of traditional dondurma.
“The closest thing I have heard people compare it to is almost the feeling of biting into an almost frozen marshmallow,” Escobar said.
The ice cream also has “better-for-you” benefits, such as fewer calories, less sugar, and lower cholesterol, due to its lack of the eggs that feature in traditional American ice cream.
Lezzetli’s flavors include Chios Vanilla, Chocolate Orange Blossom, Spiced Date, Tart Cherry, and a limited-edition Mastiha (a flavor similar to that of pine or evergreen).