In this day and age it seems like everyone is trying to do something creative and interesting with ice cream (like adding mayonnaise to it), but the creators of Republic of Booza in Brooklyn, NY are doing the exact opposite. Instead of doing newfangled things with ice cream they're focusing on a dessert from the past and putting it back in the spotlight. So if you're looking for a new summertime treat to indulge in you don't have to look any further than booza, a type of ice cream that's been around for over 500 years.

What is booza?

An ancient Arabic dessert that is often referred to as the "first ice cream in the world" and dates back to at least 1500 A.D., booza has the remarkable ability to stretch and also has a resistance to melting (to a certain extent). What gives this ice cream its strange superpower is salep, a type of flour made from orchid roots. A traditional ingredient in both Middle Eastern and Mediterranean desserts, salep is what gives booza it's signature stretch (which some say is similar to a newly fried mozzarella stick or very soft taffy) and a distinct creaminess you won't find in other types of ice cream. 

Unlike the other dairy-based treats we've come to know and love, booza is traditionally made with only three ingredients: milk, salep and a type of tree resin called mastic and is pounded with a mallet. Gelato on the other hand is made eggs, cream, milk and sugar and is churned. The temperature you'll eat these two desserts at is also different. Gelato is usually served between -4 to 5 degrees while booza is best served at 12 to 15 degrees to showcase it's stretchiness. 

Where can you find it?

Unless you happen to be traveling around the Mediterranean, finding places that serve booza is incredibly difficult so visiting Republic of Booza while you're in NYC is a must. The shop serves a bunch of different flavors of booza, but you have to try the OG flavor called "qashta", or candied cream, which has a caramelised vanilla taste. They also serve other interesting renditions of booza like Sichuan white chocolate and black walnut if you're really in the mood to experiment. So stop on by Republic of Booza if you want to try an old dessert that's been given new life.