But enough of that. We want to go there for the ice cream.
Not any old ice cream, mind you. But the fascinating, stretchy, chewy concoction twirled around by ice cream vendors in the streets of Istanbul. You see, ice cream in Turkey is nothing like ice cream or gelato in the rest of the world. It’s so cool that it had us scouring airfare websites for deals Turkey to see if we can make it happen.
Ice cream in Turkey is folded and kneaded like bread dough, then twirled and stretched beyond what you’d believe possible.
What is this magic stuff? Called dondurma, Turkey’s ice cream is made stretchy with salep (a powder made with orchis tubers) and mastic (a resin from the mastic tree). Despite its stretchy texture, dondurma is just as cold as the ice cream we’re used to in the Western world.
Check out this video of a mischievous ice cream vendor in Istanbul giving his customers their money’s worth in entertainment.
We showed this video to our little ones, and they’ve been asking to watch it constantly. It’s more entertaining to them than the Disney Channel or making rock castles.
Seriously, how did I go most of my life without knowing about this? Our family loves ice cream. If you follow our blog, you might have picked up on the fact that we talk about ice cream a lot. A. Lot. Like our love affair with Trits ice cream sandwiches, ice cream and road trips, and our insistence on putting ice cream in every best restaurants or best things to do post we write.
So how does Turkish ice cream taste? Supposedly pretty darn good. How can something that looks like this not be delicious?
Oh, and once we get our fill of ice cream, we hear the rest of Turkey’s not too shabby, either. 😉
Hopefully we’ll get our fill of it this spring as we enjoy a very open ended, extended trip to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.
If you have any good suggestions on places we should visit or things to do and see feel free to leave them in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.
We've been traveling around the world since 2003, first as a couple and now as a family of four. We love sharing our adventures and the lessons we've picked up on the road. Contact us or check our About page for more info.