Turkish ice cream Dondurma in hand on the background of the city.
Dondurma Is The Stretchy Turkish Ice Cream Made From Orchids
By Nico Danilovich
Maraş dondurma is stretchy and sticky ice cream from Turkey, making it perfect for fun feats of sweet showmanship from the transcontinental country's ice cream vendors.
It's referred to as "Dondurma" for short, meaning freezing. "Maraş" indicates the city where it originated — Kahramanmaraş, Turkey.
Its chewy consistency comes from the region's orchids, whose powdered bulbs are known as "salep." Combined with milk and sugar, they make the frozen treat thick and hard to melt.
Meanwhile, mastic sap — a pine resin — makes it stretchier and adds flavor. Dondurma-makers knead the treat with metal rods to make it even more malleable.
Those ingredients give dondurma a sort of evergreen taste that is frequently modified with the addition of chocolatey and fruity mix-ins.
Ice from Kahramanmaraş's nearby mountains traditionally chills dondurma. However, the beating and freezing processes can be accomplished with machines in the modern day.
Kahramanmaraş’s orchids have never been commercially cultivated. When supplies ran low, the Turkish government banned its export, ensuring authentic dondurma remained in Turkey.