All About Turkish Ice Cream and the fascinating Trickery

Turkish Ice Cream in Delhi
Turkish Ice Cream in Delhi

All about the fascinating tales of Turkish Ice-cream and demystifying the playful trickery of the gorgeous Fes-capped Vendors

I am not too big on desserts. Even, as a kid, I only liked softy cones or gulab jamun. However, gone are the days when (for me) desserts meant just that. After working as a Pastry Chef, I learnt about several sweet indulgences from all around the world and certainly grew a liking for many different kinds of desserts that I have discovered along the way.

In the last couple of years, I noticed that many new trends sprouted in food, which centered around desserts. From Red Velvet Cupcakes to Doughnuts to Churros, Delhiites went crazy indulging in these fashionable desserts. Personally, I never quite liked doughnuts. The truth is, if you know how a certain dish is made, you tend to get over it quickly. I could never really find the heart to relish these sugar glazed, deep fried foreign malpuas. But, I liked Churros and the Cream cheese frosting on Red Velvet Cupcakes.

Read: From where you get can your own Turkish Ice Cream Machine

Thereon, over the course of last few years, the trends changed and we saw the emergence of Macaroons, Entremets etc. As for Ice-creams, not only did people start having Gelatos, Nitrogen Instant ice cream parlours sprouted all over the city. I never much fancied Nitrogen Ice-creams, but, I loved Gelatos especially, from Gelato Roma (when it was started by an Italian Ice cream maker named Michelangelo. Now it’s not so good I’ve heard).

However, during my recent few visits to certain Malls in the city, I was exposed to outlets of Turkish Ice-creams. I saw so many kids getting playful with the ice cream vendors (who were, as usual, doing their trickery).  I used to see all this fun associated with Turkish Ice-creams on various Television shows and documentaries, and now I was getting to see it live. Ever since I was a kid, I associated outings for Ice-creams with fun, but with all the games and teasing, having Turkish Ice-creams seemed much cooler.

That got me wondering, what makes this ice-cream so special? What is it about this dessert that various parts of our country now have Turkish Ice Cream Parlours. Whether Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi or Mumbai – for those living in these cities, having this ice-cream and experiencing the frenzy has now become more accessible.

I sat down and read up on it. I discovered that the local name for Turkish ice cream is Dondurma, Turkish word for freezing. It originated from the Turkish city, Maras. Hence, it is also famously known as Maras Icecream.

The most popular flavours in Turkey for this icecream are Pistachio, Hazelnut or Sade (plain). Unlike India, in Turkey, Turkish ice-cream vendors can be found on various streets with their carts, parked in busy markets outside shops. This is very similar to the way, in India, we find Mother Dairy or Kwality Ice-cream Carts, on the streets in the market.

And how are they able to perform those tricks?

The truth is, Turkish Ice-cream has two distinguish qualities. One, it’s hard in texture and two – it has resistance to melting. The texture of the ice-cream is such that instead of licking you can rather chew it. Made up of Cream, Whipped cream, Mastic, Sugar and Salep, this icecream is consumed by the Turks, all throughout the year, even during winters. The cream is creamy, sweet, sticky and stretchy at the same time. While, Salep (which is flour made from the root of a purple orchid) gives the ice-cream it’s resistance to melting, Mastic (resin from the Mastic tree), imparts chewiness.  The texture is so unique; I even came to know that in some parts of Turkey, this ice cream is also consumed using Fork and Knife.

Hence, due to this texture, these vendors can perform the trick and the ice cream sticks to the paddle they use for scooping it out. Each vendor has to make sure that they regularly churn it with long-handled paddles to maintain the right texture of the ice-cream.

Sometimes, going to the malls, can really be an eye-opener. Had I not seen those men churning the ice-creams, I would have only cribbed about not being able to go to Turkey to experience this. Of course, going there will always be a bonus, but then, having it closer home is also not so bad. There’s now machinery that we’re locally developing, to make sure we have the right equipment for selling these ice-creams.

These machines are especially designed keeping in mind that they are able to maintain optimum temperature, power consumption and product efficiency. Their barrels are able to keep the ice cream cold and yet not freeze it. Another highlight of this machinery is, that the vendor can stretch the ice-cream contained in the barrel 3-4 meters long over the stick. The maiden company to have produced such machinery in India is: Hindchef Private Limited.

Turkish Ice Cream Machine

In last few years, I have tried to cut down on my sugar intake; hence I have tried to stay away from desserts. And not having a sweet tooth helps.

Now I have seen a few Turkish Drama Series (Fatmagül’ün Suçu Ne?, Çalıkuşu and Adını Feriha Koydum) and I noticed that Turkish people are gorgeous, especially men. So imagine these gorgeous Fes-capped men wearing traditional robes smiling and entertaining you and ending it with a scoop of an ice-cream. Can it get any better? I say not! N


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