Turkish Ice Cream (Dondurma): A Delightful Summer Treat in Istanbul

Author: Istanbul Grill |

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Istanbul, with its rich history and vibrant culture, offers a plethora of culinary delights. One such treat that stands out, especially during the scorching summer months, is Turkish ice cream, known as dondurma. Renowned for its unique texture, delightful flavors, and playful presentation, dondurma is a must-try dessert when visiting Istanbul. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of Turkish ice cream and uncover why it has become an iconic symbol of summer in Istanbul.


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I. The Origins of Turkish Ice Cream

  • A brief history of dondurma
  • The significance of ice cream in Turkish culture

II. The Art of Making Dondurma

  • Traditional methods and ingredients used in dondurma production
  • The role of mastic gum in creating dondurma's distinct texture
  • Insights into the preparation process and techniques employed by Turkish ice cream vendors

III. Uniqueness of Turkish Ice Cream

  • The stretchy and chewy texture that sets dondurma apart
  • Exploring flavors beyond the traditional favorites (e.g., sahlep, rosewater, pistachio, etc.)
  • The balance of sweetness and creaminess in Turkish ice cream

IV. Dondurma and the Turkish Ice Cream Vendor Experience

  • Street vendors and their captivating dondurma performances
  • The tricks and humor employed by ice cream vendors to entertain customers
  • Tips for engaging with Turkish ice cream vendors and enjoying the full experience

V. Where to Find the Best Dondurma in Istanbul

  • Iconic ice cream shops and street stalls in Istanbul
  • Recommendations for specific neighborhoods known for their exceptional dondurma offerings
  • Insider tips on hidden gems and lesser-known places to enjoy dondurma

VI. Dondurma Beyond Istanbul

  • Exploring other regions of Turkey famous for their unique ice cream variations
  • Traditional dondurma festivals and events across the country
  • How to recreate the dondurma experience at home with local ingredients and recipes


Turkish ice cream, or dondurma, is an irresistible summer treat that encapsulates the spirit of Istanbul. Its one-of-a-kind texture, mesmerizing vendor performances, and an array of delectable flavors make it a dessert worth savoring. Whether you're strolling through Istanbul's bustling streets or venturing into other regions of Turkey, dondurma promises to be an unforgettable part of your culinary journey. So, indulge in this delightful frozen delight and experience the magic of Turkish ice cream for yourself.

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