Maraş Battered Ice Cream

With its magnificent aroma, unique texture, gummy consistency, and non-melting form even on the hottest days, Maraş battered ice cream is a magnificent treat that is native to Turkey and exported to many countries. Tourists in İstanbul quickly find ice cream in their hands after seeing the ice cream seller. Both the story and the recipe of the cold and consistent Maraş Ice Cream are quite interesting.

Story of Maraş Ice Cream

Kahramanmaraş is a region with very hot summers. In the Ottoman Era, there was no refrigerated storage. Therefore, wells were opened on the slopes of the mountains that were not exposed to sun, and these wells were filled with ice pieces and snow that was brought from the peak of the mountains, creating a natural refrigerator. People not only filled these wells only for the purpose of a cooler, but also used it to create cold types of food to consume in summers.

One of these types is a type of food consumed in the Ottoman palaces called karsambaç. A lot of different aromatic plants were added to the snow-filled well for consumption during the summer. Thus, an iced dessert was obtained and served in the palace. One day Maraşlı Osman Aga, one of the Karsambaç masters, threw sahlep into the snow well. On the next day, he realized that it was stretching like chewing gum and its taste was quite aromatic. This food that he liked was also very popular with the people around him. He added consistency to this food by pouring goat milk. Thus, the first sample of the Maraş ice cream was created. It turned into a type of food which was known by the local people and later known to all the people of Anatolia and consumed especially during summers.

Maraş Battered Ice Cream
Dondurma is a chewy, sticky ice cream made from the root of a wild orchid.

Making of Maraş Ice Cream

One of the most important features that distinguishes Maraş ice cream from other ice cream varieties is the use of goat milk. While cow milk is preferred in other ice creams, goat milk must be used in Maraş ice cream. Goat milk shall be boiled up to 90 degrees to destroy the microorganisms inside it. Following this process, the sahlep, which we call the Wild Orchid, shall be added in the milk. The white-colored tubers of wild orchids in the Ahir Mountain in Maraş are preferred. These tubers are lined on the rope first and then dried in the heat of Maraş. After that, it is pounded until it becomes a powder. Both the goat milk and sahlep that give the aromatic taste to the Maraş ice cream are obtained from the Ahir Mountain.

Maraş Battered Ice Cream
Ice cream made with hazelnut milk in a bamboo cup, freshly minced hazelnuts.

The sahlep mixed with milk should sit for an average of 8 hours. After that, it is cooled by minus 6 degrees in order to get the right consistency. Both the rest period and the cooling temperature are one of the most important secrets of Maraş battered ice cream, which extends like chewing gum and has a texture to be cut with a knife in its rigid form, even on the hottest summer days.

Nutritious Maraş Ice Cream

Maraş ice cream does not cause any problems when consumed by small babies and does not cause any discomfort in your throat when consumed like other ice creams. It is also known for its nutritious feature. The milk is obtained from goats that are raised in a completely natural environment, so its calcium level is very high. The 100 grams of ice cream consists of 135 milligrams of calcium, in fact. It also contains 115 milligrams of phosphorus, 100 milligrams of sodium, and 100 milligrams of potassium. In addition, it is very rich in vitamins A and B, and it is recommended for consumption by especially the middle age and over.