16 October 2010

Icecream that you can cut with a knife?

I've decided to take a break from my homework today to bless everyone with another update. I know. I'm so benevolent.

This weekend consisted of trying to get over probably the worst case of the flu that I've had in more than 5 years. I was hoping that getting a flu shot in the states would have prevented me from getting too sick whilst abroad, but seeing as how I have the immune system of John Travolta in Boy in the Plastic Bubble I'm not too surprised that I ended up getting sick anyways. This time though, I couldn't get out of bed for two days, and still couldn't really eat solid food without getting nauseous until yesterday. However, now all I really have left is my original gross smokers cough and some fatigue and that's pretty much it. I did, however, almost pass out while waiting in line to make photocopies on Thursday.

Since this weekend is "Sarah Giffin saving money" weekend, my adventures have not been, and will not be quite as exciting as the last few weekends, mainly because I'm staying at home. I am still having food adventures, which is the most important thing anyways, so I will not disappoint in that regard.

So food adventure for this week: Icecream that must be cut with a knife.

In Turkey there's two different types of icecream. There's normal, Dryers-esque type icecream that's all creamy and tasty flavored and you put it on a cone in a ball (or if you're at Thrifty's in a cylinder) and then lick it off. Then there's this weirdo type of icecream that's chewy, where guys stand on the side of the street wearing vests and fezes so that they look like the monkeys that play the tamborine, and they stab at this icecream in metal pale looking things that are recessed into refridgerated boxes and then serve it to you in what looks like slices and its so thick and dense that they can flip the icecream upside down and it doesn't fall out of the cone. This weirdo icecream is also chewy. It's actually really quite bizarre. I've tried it a couple of times, and while I like it because its so strange, sometimes the flavors are a bit off, especially the banana (ew).

A couple of weeks ago my dorm neighbor friend came up to me and told me that her dad had taken her to a restaurant that served this weirdo type of icecream, only its so thick that you have to cut it with a knife. I told her that she had to take me, so yesterday was our icecream date, with Hilla coming along with us because she was intrigued. So she took us to this kebap restaurant in downtown Ankara which specializes in foods from Maraş, because here in Turkey, each city has its own culinary specialties which all somehow form variations on the beloved Adana kebap, but sometimes have some really bizarre foods that they're known for (Americans have it, too, but we're divided into culinary regions, not so much cities). Anyways, so this place specialized in food from Maraş, and one of the things that Maraş specializes in is this crazy icecream that is so thick you have to cut it with a knife. Here's what it looks like when it's served (ours didn't have pistachio bits on it):

Sometimes this is also how they serve it:

In case you don't know what's happening here, that man is cutting the giant slab of icecream that's, oh yeah, hanging by a meat hook WITH A CHAINSAW.

Anyways, we went to this kebap place specifically so that we could experience this super duper dense icecream. We ended up getting a huge amount of food: 2 salads, one that was a bunch of plates of shredded carrots, pickled cabbage, lettuce, pickled peppers like jalapenos, mint leaves, lemons, onions, etc., and another that was cucumbers and tomatoes, a plate of bread that looked like monster pita that had been injected with air to make a pillow (think HUGE chapati), a cheese and mushroom pide for Hilla, an eggplant kebap for me, and an adana kebap for Kardi (my Turkish friend), then 3 servings of the crazy icecream, and finishing it off with 3 teas, all for 49TL. It also helped that we had a Turkish person with us because then the restaurant wouldn't be able to pull the "we're going to way over charge the foreigners because they have no clue what the hell is going on" trick.

So the icecream, it was good/strange. When we ordered it, we had to wait for a while to get it because since it is so thick they have to let it sit out for a bit before they serve it to you or else it will be too dense to cut. They serve it with a fork and knife, because you need them. It was made out of full fat goat's milk, and the flavor of the icecream was full fat goat's milk flavor. It was super creamy, not as strangely chewy as the kinda gross street variety, but rather really dense, and it never melted. I mean, it melted a teeny tiny bit which made it slide around the plate a little, but there was never a puddle of icecream from not eating it fast enough. It always just stayed the same amount. And it tasted excellent, especially since it was chock full of milk fat. It also had that slightly bizarre taste that goat's milk has, you know, the taste where you know that it definitely came from a goat. So overall, really good. It's a shame that I can't bring it home with me, and I can't recreate this icecream because I'm still not exactly sure how it's made. Kardi explained that it has some sort of orchid powder that's in it that gives it some of it's density, but other than that, its a mystery.

Tomorrow culinary adventures continue with my going to the only Chinese food joint in town because I've been craving Chinese food like a mad pregnant woman. We'll see how that goes.


  1. Dude, last night I had a dream that Mo'orea was actually an island really close to Turkey. Like off the coast. And I was annoyed that you weren't visiting me because I was like "MAN, it would just be like Greece and all we'll do is lie on the beach and go hiking".

    But I've been having bizarre friend dreams spread out through this whole time. Like Devin and I going on a cruisehip. Or James And I hunting the questing beast. Something with Michelle and a poker match. Your dream at least made a little sense.

  2. i have so many weirdo im at home dreams that most of the time i wake up in the morning really really disoriented.