Mastic ice cream
Mastic ice cream is common in Greece, Arab countries and Turkey. It is named after the Mastic (plant resin) spice being traditionally produced on Greek island of Chios, and, like other natural resins, in its natural form it is "tears" or drops. Because the real mastic is expensive and difficult to find, ice cream sellers of the other countries prefer to replace the mastic spice with glucose.
Three types of mastic ice cream[change | change source]
- Greek mastic ice cream usually has the best taste because of the top quality of mastic.
- Turkish mastic ice cream or dondurma (Turkish: Maraş dondurması, the ice cream of Maraş city). It is much more difficult and heavy than the Arabic mastic ice cream. It has more fatty because it has more sweet cream or heavy cream with a high fat percentage. In the past, people who lived in the mountains made it with snow, goat milk, mastic, and "dried orchidaceae powder" (type of "tubers"). In southeast Turkey, the ice cream was more solid and sticky because of the powder of the orchid flowers that grow there. This ice cream is so solid that a knife and fork is used to eat it.
- Arabic mastic ice cream or Booza (Arabic: الآيس كريم واللبن, milk ice cream) is fibrous and elastic. It is very sticky, which makes it melt more slowly in the hot Arab countries. In Iraq, it is customary to eat the ice cream on square wooden sticks. This type is most common in Syria and Lebanon. There are ice cream sellers who show tourists where they grind the "mastic resin" with a mortar and pestle while singing and playing. In the old city of Damascus, there is a famous ice cream store who called "bakdash" that is famous in the Arab world for its Arabic mastic ice cream. It is a popular attraction for tourists, especially tourists from Arab countries.