Turkish burnt ice cream, or yanıksı dondurma, is made from the particularly fatty milk of local goats that have been fed on the wild thyme growing on the Korkuteli Plains. This specific diet is one of the secrets to the distinctive, sharp, smoky flavour of the ice cream. Another lies in the production process and the use of local rather than imported sahlep, a flour made from dried wild orchid roots which adds to the unique flavor. To make the ice cream, milk is stewed in a large boiler and stirred continuously until it starts to boil. Due to its high fat content the milk easily burns and sticks to the pot. The chef must know exactly how much to burn the milk for the desired flavor and does this by constantly changing his stirring speed and the intensity of the fire. Once the desired consistency is achieved the milk is removed from the fire and allowed to cool. The milk is then churned in an ice cream machine for a couple of hours until the product is finished. Between 100kg and 200kg of ice cream is produced every year.
Before the invention of ice cream machines, the chef would laboriously churn the milk by hand in a small pot surrounded by cold water or snow. When the product originated in the 1940s, producers would bring snow down from the mountains by camel and keep it in deep wells in their gardens during the summer months. Each day they would take some snow and blend it with sahlep and milk to sell around the town. As technology developed it became easier to produce ice cream with new methods and machines however Burnt Ice cream is still produced almost exclusively in Korkuteli, Antalya, a city in the foothills of the Beyda?lar? mountains in southwestern Turkey. It is a long held tradition, especially among the elderly to eat the ice cream after breakfast. They come together at ice cream cafes that open at 6am to eat burnt ice cream and socialize with their friends.
Apart from the inhabitants of Korkuteli, very few people are aware of the existence of burnt ice cream. Producers are increasingly adversely affected by the trend towards shopping malls and international chain stores that is changing their local culture and food tastes. This product is at risk of disappearing if it is not valued and protected by local consumers.