Notes on Icecream and Icecream Business in the Ottoman Empire
Keywords: Turkish culture,eating and drinking habits,ice-cream,icecream maker/seller,the history of ice-cream,tradesman
It is estimated that the Turks used to drink cold fruit juices or juices with ice for refreshment especially in summertime although the clima te of their fatherland was cold. In the 13th century the Seljukid Turks began to make "snow pits" (karlıklar) in order to prepare cold or iced juice. It is known that such snow pits were used during the Ottoman era and that a Palace servant called "karcıbaşı" and "buzcubaşı" was appointed to organize such tasks. The attendant was responsible for the provision and delivery of snow and ice that not only the palace but also all tradesmen needed. Ice-cream became prevalent in Ottoman society in the 17th century. Initially it was home-made and was produced in houses and dervish lodges (tekke), but later on it became a commodity and a much sought dessert in the streets in summer. It is believed that ice-cream was formerly sold by tradesmen such as "muhallebici", "helvacı", "fındıkçı", "kestaneci", and "kahveci", and that later it became a separate trade. In the early 19th century there was ice-cream trade, but tradesmen such as "hoşabçı" and "şerbetçi" had priority for the procurement of ice. Probably this was due to the fact that "hoşabçı" and "şerbetçi" trades were better established than ice-cream trade. It is known that ice-cream was being served in the Ottoman court in the 18th and 19th centuries and that in 1910 there was even a trade union called "mâbeyn-i hümâyûn dondurmacılığı" in the palace.