What is Stretchy Ice Cream?

stacked ice cream cones

In celebration of National Ice Cream Month, let’s explore a frozen creation you probably don’t see on your trip to the grocery store. Ice cream connoisseurs may know the difference, but to those of us who simply appreciate any frozen dairy treat offered, stretchy ice cream seems like a fantasy.  

Yes, stretchy ice cream. It’s real. The term “stretchy ice cream” suggests images of cookies n’ cream ice cream stretched away from a hook like a giant strand of licorice. Or perhaps images of a chilled taffy-type dessert appear. Rather, if you watch the ice cream being made, it looks almost like someone making fresh dough. You can quickly envision the stretchy dessert. 

That is, until you hear the ice cream’s official name: booza.  

Don’t immediately scrap ideas to try this dessert with the family, though. Despite how the name sounds, booza is not alcoholic. 

Booza is an Arabic ice cream popular in Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Jordan and Syria. Though the stretchy ice cream description may sound bizarre, you don’t lose quality in its taste. It is denser than normal ice cream and, despite stretching like a cheese stick or mozzarella, the ice cream maintains a smooth texture and taste. 

Traditionally, booza gets its stretchy quality from an ingredient known as salep, but the recipe also combines milk, cream and mastic, an ingredient commonly used for chewing gum. Ingredients are then beaten and scraped to produce the thick ice cream. Pistachios or other toppings are added. Then, ta-da! You have your own stretchy ice cream to try! 

If you’re not in the mood for traditional ice cream or a dense frozen custard, search for a new booza store near you and test how stretchy it really is. 

For fun ice cream flavors you can make at home, check out our dessert recipes

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