Ice Cream | Dondurma

Ice cream in its earliest forms held little resemblance to the modern dessert of today. Biblical passages refer to King Solomon (1010 – 931 BC) enjoying icy drinks during harvest. Likewise, Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BC) is said to have indulged in icy drinks flavored with honey or wine. Tang Dynasty Emperors (618 – 907 AD) are believed to have been the first to consume an early variety using frozen milk. This version was produced by combining milk, flour and camphor (an aromatic substance from evergreen trees) before freezing.

During the Middle Ages (500 – 1500 AD), Arabs are known to have consumed sherbet (sharabt), an icy refreshment flavored with cherry, pomegranate or quince. Over time, these sherbet became popular with the Italian and French aristocracy. In 17th century, these sherbet was adapted to create frozen desserts. Antonio Latini (1642–1692) of Naples is credited with recording the first recipe for sorbet (sorbetto) which included the addition of sugar to sherbet. Antonio Latini also created a milk-based sorbet which is considered by many historians the first true ice cream.

The history of the Turkish ice cream (dondurma) dates back between 300 – 500 years to the Anatolian city of Maraş. Situated at foot of Mount Ahır Dağı in Turkey’s Mediterranean Region, Maraş is known for hot summers, mastic tree orchards and a rare variety of orchid called Salep. The foothills of the region are also ideally suited for the rearing of goats. An abundant supply of ice, salep, goat milk and mastic resin led to the creation of a creamy, dense, ice cream called dondurma. Dondurma is made by combining all of the ingredients and then whipping them until the desired consistency is achieved. The mixture is then frozen before being served. Dondurma, because of the availability of salep, is completely unique to Turkey.



Ice cream is traditionally served in a bowl. However, it is also available in a cone.


Quick Guide

Ice cream is available throughout Turkey. Maraş, located in Turkey’s Mediterranean Region, is famous for the creation and production.

Ice cream is available all year. It is most popular during the summer months.


Indulge in more Delicious Turkish Dairy


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Kaymak is a creamy dairy product similar to clotted cream. In Turkey, the decadent cream has been produced for centuries. The allure of kayak is well-documented. In fact, to avoid the temptation, in 1573 women were prohibited from entering kaymak shops.

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Yoghurt is a derivation of the Turkish word yoğurt. It is believed that yoghurt first appeared between 8000 and 7000 BC (concurrent with the domestication of livestock). For thousands of years, yogurt has been an indispensible element in Turkish cuisine.




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