Wandering the World
The Ground Beneath my Feet
This post is a part of a collaboration with Blog with Friends. Each month we choose a theme and everyone gives it their own special twist. This month's theme was Ice Cream so stay reading until the end and you will find links for more ice cream related fun!
Although my grandmother ate it all year round, ice cream lies firmly in the domain of summer. Cold, sweet, creamy and ephemeral, if you savor it for too long in these hot months, it will melt on you.
Turks however have found a way to make it last just a little longer by adding Salep flour, traditionally made from orchid root. The orchids are getting rare these days though so now it is often made with alternatives. Salep is similar to cornstarch in that it doesn't have a strong taste and it is used as a thickening agent. In the winter it is used to make a delicious cinnamony drink appropriately called Salep. In the summer however, it makes the ice cream chewy, sticky and stretchy and it makes it melt more slowly so you don't run the risk of it dripping down your cone and onto your hand as easily.
Click here for a recipe that doesn't even require an ice cream maker.
Ever creative and fun, Turks have used these unique properties to turn ice cream into a show. The vender stands at his post (I say his because I have never seen a woman ice cream vender but now that this has occurred to me, I will keep an eye out for one) ringing his bell and calling out to potential customers. While he waits he may play with the ice cream with a really long pole with a flat end pulling the ice cream in and out of the pot as a whole stretchy mass.
As soon as a customer approaches and orders a cone, the show begins! The vender will slice off a bit of ice cream, put it on a cone and offer it to the outstretched hand only to yank it back, twirl it around, and generally tease the expectant ice cream eater never letting them actually taste it until everyone is laughing. By the time you get your ice cream, a small crowd will have formed and the vender will have his next victim, eagerly awaiting his or her turn to be a part of the show.
For this video my daughter graciously agreed to costar in the event while I held the camera.
For more wonderful ways to enjoy ice cream this summer, be sure and check out these posts from my amazing blogger friends!