Seyfettin Soğukpınar, the “Sahlep Uncle” of Kahramanmaras,: “I understand the real sahlep at first sight!”
K.Maras ic cream owes its unique consistency to sahlep which is grown on generous plateaus of Toros Mountains and the skirts of Ahir Mountain. The real sahlep is asked to Seyfettin Soğukpınar who is called “Sahlep Uncle”...
Today, sahlep is the reason of the consistency of the K.Maras ice cream and the most important ingredient of this delightful taste...
The duty of Seyfettin Soğukpınar, who is known as Sahlep Uncle, is to find top quality sahleps in his region and K.Maras, and bring them to Mado. Although youngsters know him as Sahlep Uncle, elders of the city know that he was an ice cream seller between the years of 1948-1967. When he quit the job of ice cream seller and started to work as a clerk in bank, he was working at Yaşar Patisserie at nights in K.Maras. He came through these two jobs until he was retired.
The most important ingredient of MADO ice cream
Sahlep Uncle was delighted when Mehmet Sait Kanbur, who made the K.Maras ice cream a trademark with the name of Mado from grandfather to grandson, asked him; “I want you to help us for an important subject. Supply our sahlep.” Because not everyone cut for being responsible for sahlep which is the most important ingredient of K.Maras ice cream...
He explains his duty as: “Mountain villagers know the real sahlep well. Villagers bring their sahleps, and choose the best out of them by checking. We purchase the first quality of sahlep. Sahlep is a very expensive plant, and its price differs according to the quality of the product. There are always 5 ton of sahlep in our warehouses at present, because Mado ice cream does not exists without sahlep!”
There is a key point
MADO ice cream is produced from the sahlep which is grown on generous plateaus of Toros Mountains and the skirts of Ahir Mountain. Its master explains how the quality measurement of sahlep is made: “I understand it from its smell. Good sahlep is in the color of wheat. I have been collecting and marketing sahlep for 50 years. There are 25-30 villagers whose sahlep I trust. I do business with them. There are two kinds of sahlep. Clove sahlep is better and matchstick sahlep is in poor quality. I don’t know why but, there is no sahlep as the one grown on Ahir Mountain.
We also learn from Sahlep Uncle how sahlep which, adds ice cream a delightful taste, a pleasant aroma and the characteristic to stretch like gum, is obtained from wild orchids on the mountains: “Today, sahlep was processed in mills, but we were processing sahlep by handmills in old times. Sahlep is the bulb part of the wild orchid. People who live on mountains know orchid well and recognize them as soon as they see. They had learned it from their fathers and grandfathers. They take and wash the root of the orchid. This is like root tomato. Its appearance is gnarled. But you should pay attention when picking it. When it was picked from the soil, it is muddy and should be washed immediately. Then it is boiled in milk, ayran or water. After it is filtered, it is stringed or dried as it is in a warm and shadowy place. Because, it may cause damage to dry them under sun. First, it is soft like potato and it becomes softer after it is boiled. Then it is processed in the mill; it becomes like flour and is ready to be used. When it is added into milk, it gives a good consistency.
The indispensible drink of the winter: Sahlep
Known as a very beneficial plant for the health since very ancient times, sahlep is the indispensible classic of the cold winter days. Always have this delightful drink, which has softening effects on sore throats and is recuperative for coughing and colds, at your table. Sahlep, which is nourishment that increase body resistance and strengthen the body because of its high food value, helps children to get rid of diarrhea.