Turkish ice cream


Turkish ice cream (Turkish “dondurma”) is slightly different from the ice cream we know from Italy or the Czech Republic. The local ice cream is elastic and “chewy”, obtaining this property by using mastic resin. In addition to mastic, salep (powder from the tuber of an orchid) is often used in production, which further thickens the ice cream and gives it a smooth and creamy consistency.

Turkish ice cream seller
Turkish ice cream seller

A unique aspect of Turkish ice cream is the way it is sold. Street vendors, known as “dondurmacı”, are often seen stretching the ice cream and performing various tricks before serving it to customers. It’s an entertaining spectacle that you’ve probably seen in YouTube videos:

✓ Tip: Book your tickets for attractions and excursions in Turkey in advance, save time & avoid queues.

Ice cream sellers are often dressed in local costumes, scooping ice cream with long metal spoons. They attract passers-by by ringing a bell. The most common flavors are vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate, but there is also chocolate or a special version with rose petals.

Turkish ice cream seller
Turkish ice cream seller

When you are in Turkey, be sure to taste Turkish ice cream. You can expect a popular treat, but also an entertaining show that is hard to experience elsewhere.

If you are watching your budget, be sure to ask for the price of the ice cream in advance, preferably at the beginning of the entire sales show. The sellers try to sell the ice cream very actively. I paid 75 lira, or about 4 EUR, for three scoops of ice cream bought from a “real” Turk. This is a high amount for Turkey. But the show was great, and I was satisfied.