Guide to SKOPJE

Dondurma – ice cream that refuses to melt


Ice cream is everybody’s favorite summer refreshment. It can be prepared in many different ways with various flavors and is equally appreciated on all continents. However, authentic Turkish ice cream “dondurma” is one and only, unlike any other ice cream in the world. The Turkish add “secret” ingredients to the traditional recipe: salep powder and aromatic resin which give it a special flavor and make it flexible.

Turkish ice cream is unique in two aspects: ingredients and resistance to melting. Dondurma (Turkish for “frozen”) is most often made of milk, sugar, salep and aromatic resin. It is said to originate from the region Karamanmaras and it is known as Maras ice cream. The salep powder, a type of flour obtained from early purple orchids, and the aromatic resin make this ice cream quite chewy.

The region of Karamanmaras is famous for Maras ice cream (maraş dondurmasi), a kind of ice cream that contains more salep than the usual recipe and, because of its tough sticky texture, it is sometimes eaten with a fork and knife. The most important quality of Turkish ice cream is its resistance to melting in high summer temperatures. So, next time you visit Istanbul you simply must try this sweet summer pleasure and enjoy the tricks and skills of dondurma masters.

Kristina Angeleska