Foodie Friday: Stretchy Ice Cream

Stretchy ice cream: dense, creamy, and pliable frozen dessert

Who knew stretchy ice cream was a thing? Well, I didn’t. Not until one family member had to do a project about ice cream versus gelato versus… (Whether this was an actual research project or something they made up has yet to be revealed.)

Anyway, stretchy ice cream does stretch, but it’s not super elastic. If you’re thinking rubber bands, you’d be wrong. There is a kind of give to the ice cream, though, and it’s quite fun to watch/scoop.

Two cups of stretchy ice cream from Saffron & Rose: a yellow version with saffron and pistachio, and a pink version with rosewater and California cactus pear

The official name of the ice cream is booza, and it’s found in the Eastern Mediterranean region. It’s quite common and has been a traditional frozen delight for a long time.

However, it’s newer to the United States because the stretchy factor for the ice cream comes from two rare ingredients: salep, which is a flour made from orchid root; and mastic, which is a resin found from a certain tree type in Greece.

Beyond the fun physical characteristic of the dessert, booza is actually very similar to typical American ice cream. It’s got a super smooth texture and a biting cold to it. The flavors also show up in intense ways.

I went to a specialty ice cream shop and got these unique flavors:  Saffron Pistachio, as well as Pink Rose. I’ve never had saffron beyond paella, so it was interesting to eat this in a sweet instead of savory dish. I kind of like the extra spice to the ice cream, but it can feel too flavorful. My favorite of the two was the Pink Rose, which is a blend of rosewater and California cactus pear. It’s floral but not overpoweringly so, and it’s got an addictive sweetness to it. Also, the pink is so pretty!  

Saffron and Rose has two SoCal locations if you want to try out their frozen treats.

Have you ever eaten stretchy ice cream and/or what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

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  1. Nope. I’ve never eaten stretchy ice cream. The ingredients are interesting, especially the orchid root flour. For flavors, I like butter pecan or strawberry.

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