It is truly delicious, and something everyone should try: Maraş Ice-cream. And like all special things it has an interesting story to its conception.
Sahlep is a well-known drink in winter, in Turkey. It’s made from a powder that contains ground orchid root, milk, sugar and cinnamon. The story goes that one night, in the city of Kahramanmaraş, a pot of Sahlep froze. Since orchid powder is an expensive substance, the Sahlep vendor to whom the pot belonged, tried to get the frozen drink out of it, using a spoon.
The Sahlep came out as one big chunk. The vendor tasted it and realised that frozen Sahlep was also quite tasty. And this is how the famous Turkish orchid ice-cream came into being. It was named Maraş Dondurması (Maraş ice cream) after the place it was invented, Kahramanmaraş in the Toros mountains.
This particular ice cream is known for its extraordinary consistency; Thick, sticky and creamy and is often served with knife and fork! It may sound unappetising to eat such a hard lump of ice, but it’s actually very creamy and melts as soon as it hits the top of your tongue. And it tastes very, very good!
Maraş in Alanya
In Alanya, there are two well-known sellers of Maraş ice cream. The first is the franchise Mado where the name is literally derived from MAraş-DOndurması. This mark is famous in whole of Turkey. The second one is Bamyacı situated in Alanya harbour since 1941, where you can find beautiful homemade Maraş-ice-cream in various flavours.
Furthermore, this famous ice-cream is often sold by street vendors, usually dressed up in traditional clothes. They must grind the ice regularly with long-handled paddles to keep it usable. These vendors are typically known for the tricks they make, pretending the ice-cream is going to fall off the waffle for example, before they finally hand over the delicious treat to the customer.