Turkish ice cream

A vendor stretches out dondurma in Turkey. Photo by Klearchos Kapoutsis.

You’ve no doubt heard of the sweet turkish delight, but in my opinion, the real delight to be had in Turkey is dondurma. Dondurma is the local ice cream that’s available at street vendors all over the country, and what makes it special is that you can eat it with a knife and fork.

Unlike regular ice creams which melt really quickly, dondurma has a thick, nougat-like consistency. The ice cream gets its chewy quality from sahlep, a natural gum harvested from wild orchards, and vendors regularly churn the dondurma using long paddles to maintain the texture.

Even if they serve it up to you in a cone, don’t be fooled – you’ll need to use your teeth to crunch your way through this ice cream!