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10
Jun

Back from Gaziantep and already missing its colourful bazaars and all the delicious food we ate there. Too much of it mind you, but there is one thing we all agreed on, and this was that we couldn’t have too much of Ozgüler’s ice cream.

ozguler ice cream copy 2

Turkish, as well as Syrian and Lebanese ice cream is very different from regular gelato or western ice cream. For one thing, it never has any eggs in it. Instead, it is thickened with salep, a powder ground from dried orchis tubers that not only thickens the ice cream (and a milk drink called salep or sahlab in Arabic) but also makes it stretchy and chewy. A strange texture that I love but that some people simply don’t care for.

The other interesting fact about Ozgüler’s ice cream, and that made in south eastern Turkey (it originally comes from Maras and according to Musa Dagdeviren, it is where you find the best) is that it is made with goat’s milk. It was my wonderful friend, Filiz Hosukoglu, who is a fount of knowledge for all things from the South East, who first took me to Ozgüler, saying he was the best in Gaziantep. And she is right. His really is the best there. His ice cream is thicker and more chewy than that at Hanna‘s, with a stronger mastic flavour and no rose water. I sometimes waver about which I like best. But I think I like Hanna’s best because it is more delicate. In any case, I always ask for the same flavours in both places: sakizli which is the Turkish name of the one with mastic and fistikli, Turkish for that with pistachios. And like at Hanna’s, the Ozgülers (it is their family name) use real pistachios, coarsely ground so that you get real pieces of nut in the ice cream.

ozguler ice cream 2 copy

Here is Ozgüler fils in front of the great shop sign at the main shop where they still churn the ice cream using the 1950’s machines. Gaziantep has many attractions, both culinary and cultural, and Ozgüler’s ice cream is definitely one of the main ones, as well as Imam Cagdas (great kebabs & baklava), and the  museum with the mosaics from Zeugma, and the bazaars, and, and, and… Fortunately, it won’t be long before I am back there. In September inchallah.


There is 14 comments on this post


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    sur le port de Bodrum il y a un marchand ambulant, qui bat dans un ample mouvement la glace au mastic dans une cuve en cuivre avec un bâton, puis le tend vers les passants. cette glace est presqu’aussi bonne que celle de Damas dans mon souvenir. Il y a aussi sur l’autoroute au dessous de Ghazir, quand tu rentres du casino vers Beyrouth un marchand qui fait des glaces maison délicieuses avec des fruits magnifiques…. rien que d’en parler me donne envie d’en manger!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    j’aime l’idee du marchand ambulant, et j’essaierai les autres. moi aussi, j’ai envie d’en manger maintenant!!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Stretchy and chewy ice-cream. Sounds interesting that’s for sure. In the Caribbean we don’t use eggs in ice-cream either. We use arrowroot or cornstarch as the thickener


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    went bonefishing in the Carribean once but don’t remember the ice cream.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Hi Anissa,

    Did you try the dondurma on its own or served with their wonderful helva? (Their “fistik ezmesi” are nothing to sniff at either; it is definitely among the very finest versions of this Antep specialty.) I also love those ambulant dondurma vendors, but must say that it is such fun (so civilized!) to sit down to dondurma and helva with fork and knife!

    In the past year, there has been a tremendous amount of interest among cutting-edge researchers in Mexican food history in the subject of pre-Hispanic emulsifiers and foaming agents. Almost all of these have been completely forgotten, or neglected by History (having apparently never been recorded even by the eagle-eyed, exhaustive first great generations of post-Conquest scholar-botanists). Many of these plants (the cocolmecatl, Smilax sp. for instance, or the marvellous chupipi, Gonolobus sp.) continue to be used for these specific purposes in obscure cuisines of forgotten pockets of the country.

    I find the whole world of Eastern Mediterranean gums, gels, binders and thickeners, foaming agents, stabilisers just as fascinating. This subject is just as neglected among food historians (though not necessarily unknown to industrial food scientists). It would encompass not just salep, and the aromatic sakiz (mastic) but the tragacanths as well, and the entire range of many other tree resins used from Persia to as far away as India/Pakistan (where they use the gum of Sterculia urens as a binder for helva/barfi). Perhaps the most magical of them all is the çöven kökü (in Arabic: ‘erq-al-halweh) the key ingredient in making the amazing marshmallow-like foam that is drizzled over kerebiç, another of the great glories of the Antep sweets-making tradition.

    Richard
    Chicago


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    yes, i agree about ‘erq or shirsh al-halaweh. i think you commented on my post on making halva where i posted posted a pic of the soapwort root. it is a magical ingredient. the way the brown water becomes white foam is pretty amazing. the foam or dip as i call it is called natef in arabic and is served with karabij halab which are stuffed with walnuts whereas they are stuffed with pistachios in turkey. and i had the dondurma on its own. i love it as it is. next time i will try it with helva. you mean the tahini helva and not the one made with flour or semolina?


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Re: karabij halab
    = kerebiç of Aleppo? Gotta look that up next time I visit. With walnuts! Is it different in any other way from the Gaziantep version?

    Re: helva

    No usually with semolina helva (irmik helvasi) in the SE and in the east.

    Re: Gaziantep

    I am also hoping to be back in September on my way to the Hakkari (it will be my first foray to this remote region and I want to get there way before winter). The “problem” with September from a dondurma point of view is that the apricot season will have just ended :0( although out of season, the boutiquey ice cream chain Mado (there are dozens now in all the big cities//Mado originated in Maras) makes a version with something like stewed apricots that I am just crazy about.

    Richard


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Re: natef

    Dip? You dip it in Lebanon/Syria? In Gaziantep, the foam is drizzled on top.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    well, it is not so liquid. we use it as a dip. in Aleppo they smear it on top of the karabij, then sprinkle a little cinnamon. what is interesting is that they eat the karabij hot whereas the lebanese and turks eat them at room temperature. the walnut version is the same shape and size more or less. also the same pastry. i know mado ice cream and it is acceptable although nowhere near as good as that of the small ice cream makers. if you ever go to beirut, you must try hanna’s. it’s different but incredibly delicious.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    btw, caught the beginning of apricot season while there. so good. i wish we could get them in london. only at the lebanese shops where they sell the white ones at huge prices.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Hi Anissa,

    You might be interested to know that çöven is one of the best-known mordants (for dyeing cloths) of the ancient world. It was also an important vehicle for natural inks, as can be seen in an exceptionally beautiful passage from Orhan Pamuk’s Benim Ad?m K?rm?z? (My Name is Red). It’s from Chapter 31 (also titled Benim Ad?m K?rm?z?), structurally and conceptually at the very apex of the book’s novelistic elaboration (if not quite a “climax” in the Western narratival sense.) The narrator of this chapter is the color Red, which is waiting to be fixed into a masterpiece of the miniaturist’s art with the help of a little solution of boiled saponaria and lotor:

    susun da dinleyin nas?l da böyle harika bir k?rm?z? oldu?umu. boyadan anlar üstat nakka?. hindistan?n en s?cak yerinden gelen en iyi k?rm?z? böce?inin kurusunu kendi havan?nda elce?iziyle döve döve iyice toz edip, bunun be? dirhemini ve bir dirhem çöven ve yar?m dirhem de lotor haz?r etti. üç okka suyu tencereye koyup, çöveni içine at?p kaynatt?. sonra lotoru suya koydu, güzelce kar??t?rd?. bir güzel kahve içecek zaman kadar kaynatt?. o kahveyi içerken, ben de az sonra do?acak çocuk gibi sab?rs?zlan?yordum.

    I looked up saponaria in my copy of Font i Quer and apparently it was well-known not just in the Arab world, but in the classical world of the West (Greece and Rome) as well, occurring for instance in Dioscorides’ Materia Medica.

    Richard


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    how interesting. thanks so much richard. i love orhan pamuk but i haven’t yet read my name is red. will take it out of my bookcase right now and will start reading it. i wish i could read and speak turkish. my plan is to learn it next year.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Hi Anissa,

    I found your blog via Harold McGee and Cookingissues.com. I am traveling to Turkey in a few weeks and I was hoping to buy good quality Salep to make some chewy ice cream when I got back. Do you know where you can find good quality Salep Dondurma flour? In Istanbul say?


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    don’t know off hand but will ask and will let you know.

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