Why Chewy Ice Cream?
In the U.S., these variations tend to be very hard to find. We hope that by making Lezzetli available in pints nationwide, more people will have the chance to experience something like it (without having to look so hard); expand their definition of what ice cream can be; and experience a different culture through a new food.
What does Lezzetli mean?
Lezzetli is the Turkish word for tasty or delicious, paying homage to the most famous of the chewy ice creams.
Is this Maraş Dondurma (Turkish ice cream)?
No. While maraş dondurma is one of the best-known of the chewy ice creams in the world, Lezzetli isn't trying to replicate a single tradition, but instead to share the concept of thick, textured ice cream with America, which is something found in a variety of cultures and countries - not just Turkey, but Lebanon, Syria, and more.
The most traditional version of maraş dondurma is made with goat milk and salep (the ground root of a wild orchid). The salep is what reacts with the milk to give the ice cream its slightly chewy and stretchy texture. A laborious beating and stretching process is also crucial to creating this texture.
WHAT IS LEZZETLI'S APPROACH TO ICE CREAM FLAVORS?
Everything about our ice cream is about slowing down and savoring. Not only does Lezzetli's texture make this possible, but so do our flavors.
We have nothing against the typical, super sweet approach to ice cream, but we're not here to give you another sugar bomb. We absolutely love our ingredients, and want to share a balanced, nuanced experience of them, so all of our flavors are less sweet.
Speaking of ingredients, we strive to use ingredients found in Turkey, Greece, and the Levant. While some, like orange blossom, have started to find their way into American grocery stores and products, we'd still love to see a whole lot more of them!
WHAT ARE LEZZETLI'S INGREDIENTS?
Lezzetli's ingredients are completely all natural, and of the highest quality, with no unnecessary additives. All of our flavors have a cow milk and sugar base. Like chewy ice creams found in Turkey and the Levant, and many other ice cream traditions, we don't use eggs in our ice cream, and instead use all natural plant fibers and gums. These don't impact the taste, but are essential to Lezzetli's unique texture.
WHAT IS MASTIHA?
Mastiha is a tree resin that is harvested from mastic trees, which only grow on the island of Chios, Greece. Mastiha made its way into Levantine cuisine over the course of history and has been called an "ancient superfood," known for its medicinal properties, especially the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. We find that everyone has a different way of describing its flavor, such as woodsy, piney, or evergreen. In ice cream, it's savory, but also very refreshing.
IS LEZZETLI GLUTEN FREE?
Is lezzetli really healthier than other ice creams?
Because there are no eggs in our ice cream, Lezzetli flavors typically have approximately 25-50% less fat and calories than other specialty ice creams in the freezer aisle.