I love to travel. Contrary to me, my father abhors the idea of being displaced from the cozy confines of his faithful abode.
"But Papa! from where would I find unique stories to tell you? the anecdotes to recall over tea and fill our hot and dreary afternoons with excitement and curiosity?"
"I don't know. I only feel tiredness getting to me and I miss home food anywhere outside"
"Hmmm" I didn't mumble further to him, but deep inside my heart, I know travel keeps me rejuvenated. I feel alive and belonged. Belonged to this universe. Also, the experiences open up new vistas broadening my vision and make me more acceptable to changes and weirdness around me.
Two most special memories of my trip with my friends, my group of the same age as me I cannot sit behind without sharing with you.
HILARIOUS TURKISH ICE CREAM TRICKS
Here is some news to brighten up the icecream fans. A story very funny and unique about irresistible ice cream in Turkey.
Italy is widely famous for its gelato ice creams. Around East Europe, you will find ample of gelatos. However, we never thought that this Turkish ice cream would interest us so much.
On our visit to Istanbul, my friends and I happened to spot some ice cream buffs enjoying their treat eating out of cones held upside down, confronting the laws of gravity!
These ice cream vendors on streets and storefronts wear the traditional clothing of the Ottoman period and always a mischievous smile.
In their carts, they keep mixing the ice cream mixture with long-handled paddles. It was a way with this particular person to add some fun to his business and amazement to the tourists. They were kept guessing as the ice cream cones were put up for a show! We stood by to observe how his ice cream sat on his stick with the stick rotating it round and round before finally offering it to the customer. The ice cream remains in the cone, even after the vendor performs such tricks.
This famous Turkish ice cream is called 'Dondurma' in Turkish which means the battered ice cream.
Dondurma includes ingredients like cream, whipped cream, Salep, Mastic, and sugar. It is believed to have originated from the city of Maras and thus, it’s also known as Maras ice cream too.
Dondurma ice creams have these two distinct qualities: stiff texture and resistance to melting. These qualities are because of the thickening agent Salep. Salep is flour which we get from the root of the early purple orchid, a kind of plant. Mastic is again a plant-based resin which provides the chewiness to the ice creams. At times these ice creams are so hard and sticky that a knife and fork are better kept handy for eating.
The ice cream mixture needs to be mixed recurrently to keep it in an edible condition. We had already noticed a long-handled paddle with each seller, the tool for the purpose.
Once the ice cream acrobatics came to an end, we hastily grabbed our cones from our Ottoman boy!! It’s a pleasure watching the way these ice cream vendors entertain the people while selling the ice creams.
It’s a must while in Turkey.
KREMŠNITA: THE FAMOUS BLED CREAM CAKE
Bled is a quaint little fairy tale town in the foothills of Julian Alps in Slovenia.
Our group overheard some tourists enquiring the Slovenians about their local desserts, and that’s when we got to know about the well-known Bled cream cake 'Kremšnita.' We were enthusiastic about tasting it and also, to know about its history. This cream cake is the symbol of Bled.
Though we can get these cakes elsewhere too, the ones from Bled are the best. One of the former managers of Hotel Park patisserie, ištvan luka?evi? had been experimenting with different recipes for years and had finally succeeded. These cream cakes, prepared by him at the patisserie are sold in the cafe which is opposite the hotel. They have become a roaring success.
This cream cake is very famous and sought after by all the tourists. According to the Park Hotel, an estimated 3000 cream cakes are sold each day, and every week 6000 of them get exported to the neighboring country, Austria. Tons of flour gets used for their production.
Many bakeries across Slovenia make their own variations of the cream cake. Variations of this Slovenian dessert contributes to the country’s culinary diversity. Nevertheless, the cream cake from the Park Hotel has received an international reputation that surpasses the country’s border.
There is no secret in making this delicious cake, the only thing that matters is the experience, and the cooks from Bled have ample of it. It is a cake made up of vanilla, cream, and whipped cream.
A golden crispy crust made from the butter dough (mixed with butter, not margarine) and a delicious vanilla cream of precisely the right consistency (with precisely the correct quantity of flour - ) is frosted with whipped cream and a butter dough layer which is crispy. And ultimately, a good dusting of icing sugar goes into the final touches of the Bled Cream Cake. It is a mouthwatering and delectable Slovenian dessert one can ever have in his lifetime. We tasted this cream cake and instantly fell in love with it. A cake which melts in your mouth, the moment you put it in. Little did we expect the cream cake to be so lip-smacking and enjoyable. We still miss the cream cake, hitting our taste buds. The cream cake at Hotel Park overrides the taste of the cream cakes available at other patisseries or cafes across Bled or any other place in Slovenia.
A trip to Bled is incomplete without tasting “Kremšnita,” i.e., the Bled Cream Cake at Hotel Park.
Do savor your taste buds with the famous “Kremšnita” slice while in Bled.
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