Maras Ice Cream is a creamy, smooth Turkish ice cream with an elastic texture.
You have to chew it; it melts as you chew. It is served with a knife and a fork.
Maras Ice Cream is made from milk, sugar and powder from the tubers of wild orchids (“Dactylorhiza Osmanica”) which the Turks call “Osmaniye orkidesi.”
These oval tubers grow in pairs. The best ones dry to the colour of alabaster, indicating a high mucilage content. The tubers are dried, then ground into a whitish powder called “salep” which is used in the ice cream.
The milk used can be goat’s, sheep’s or cow’s.
The mixing is done with gelato machines imported from Italy. When mixed, the mixture is then pounded with metal rods or wooden paddles for 20 minutes to develop its elasticity. It becomes so stiff it can be hung from a hook.
It is made in different flavours such as vanilla, red currant, peach, pistachio, etc.
Maras Ice Cream has been made in Maras since the 1600s.
In Turkish, Maras Ice Cream is called “salepi dondurma.”
“Dondurma” is “ice cream” in Turkish.