Photo by Paul Osterlund
Indulge in Istanbul's Best Ice Cream
Turkish ice cream has a unique quality: a texture that makes it stretch, thanks to salep (orchid flour) that keeps it thick and slow to melt, and mastic, a plant resin that makes it chewy. In tourist areas around Sultanahmet and İstiklal, you’ll see ice-cream vendors in Ottoman costumes stirring the ice cream with a long pole, and if you order a cone, you’ll be an unwitting participant in a playful game of “keep away.” If you’ve already witnessed this fun and just want to enjoy your ice cream in peace, look for any of the city’s Mado ice-cream shops. The name is short for Maraş—the town where the ice cream originates—and dondurma, the Turkish word for ice cream. Mado’s ice cream is also special for the goat milk it uses, and serves a variety of desserts with slices of ice cream to be eaten with a knife and fork.
By Meg Nesterov, AFAR Local Expert
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Indulge in Turkish Ice Cream
I arrived in Istanbul, having just spent a month exploring Italy. This is to say that I might have been recovering from a gelato overdose just as I was diving into Turkey. But, one night while wandering the streets of Istakal Cad with my husband, we stumbled upon the Mado scoop shop and suddenly I was cured. The renown shop makes ice cream from goat's milk, which is easier to digest and has a unique, not to be missed flavor. I fell instantly in love with my two scoop order: one scoop of cardamom + almond cream topped with a scoop of tart black cherry. In fact, we may or may not have gone back to order this treat each of the 10 nights we were in Istanbul....:) This "flavor" will always define our trip!
Kocatepe Mahallesi, Aydede Cd. No:15, 34437 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
+90 212 245 46 21