It's not your usual ice cream and neither is the presentation. Nazar Turkish Ice Cream will arrive at Bally's forthcoming Grand Bazaar Shops with a new approach to iced treats and a novel way to draw a crowd.
Nazar Ice Cream launched in Turkey in 1998, expanding to Taiwan, where videos of the carnival style trickery of their ice cream vendors started to circulate. Nazar serves Maras ice cream, a style dating back to the 1600s, that creates an "elastic texture." As you chew, the ice cream melts. While served in a cone, it is initially solid enough to be eaten with a knife and fork.
Elaborate preparation and ingredients create this twist on a familiar ice cream treat.
Maras Ice Cream is made from milk, sugar and powder from the tubers of wild orchids ("Dactylorhiza Osmanica") which the Turks call "Osmaniye orkidesi." These oval tubers grow in pairs. The best ones dry to the colour of alabaster, indicating a high mucilage content. The tubers are dried, then ground into a whitish powder called "salep" which is used in the ice cream. The mixing is done with gelato machines imported from Italy. When mixed, the mixture is then pounded with metal rods or wooden paddles for 20 minutes to develop its elasticity. It becomes so stiff it can be hung from a hook. It is made in different flavours such as vanilla, red currant, peach, pistachio, etc.
But the real attraction is the vendors and hawkers, who use long-handled dippers to skillfully tease customers. And the customer very, very rarely comes out ahead.
Bally's Grand Bazaar is expected to partially debut in February.