Turkish Ice Cream
Turkish ice cream is sticky and has a different texture to regular ice cream. It is also not very sweet. Image Credit: Shreya Bhatia/ Gulf News

What you need to know:

  • Gulf News is going on an ice cream trail this Ramadan.
  • Our third pick is traditional Turkish ice cream, which is sticky and chewy.
  • Be prepared for our list of 29 ice creams for 29 days.
  • Break your fast and enjoy the Summer months with these sweet and cold treats.

Third on our ice cream trail for Ramadan is ice cream from Turkey.

#3 Turkish ice cream

Authentic Turkish ice cream is very popular in the UAE and is found almost everywhere. It is known as ‘Dondurma’ and in Turkish ‘Maras dondurmasi’ which means “the ice cream of the city of Maras”. It is believed to originate from the Turkish city.

This ice cream is different from regular ice cream as it is sticky, chewy and thick in texture.

Geographical significance

According to Mirzokhidjon Khayitboev, a vendor of Turkish ice cream at City Walk, “It is sticky because of an ingredient called salep – a powder made from wild orchids tubers that grow on Turkish mountains. The orchid bulbs are collected, dried, powdered and added to ice cream.” The stretchy Turkish ice cream is sweetened and flavoured with aromatic mastic a type of resin derived from an evergreen in the pistachio family.

This ice cream is often sold in a cone or on a stick by street vendors, who churn the mixture with long paddles. The vendors tease and prank customers as they make buyers try and catch their ice creams and pretend like they are going to fall. They also ring the bells on their carts and shout for people to come to their trucks, reminiscent of old ice cream carts.

Khayitboev said: “Vanilla is a classic flavor but Pistachio and chocolate are also popular. The salep is imported from Turkey but the ice cream is made locally.”


Price: Dh19 (starting)
Place: Maras Turka, City Walk Dubai
Availablility: Maras Turka has outlets all around Dubai, at Jumeirah Beach Resort (JBR), Outlet Mall, Mall of the Emirates and more. Other places to get Turkish ice cream are Mado, at The Dubai Mall and Turkish Village (for Dh40) in Jumeirah 1.