Arabica Booza

Ice Cream in Downtown

Image by Lindsey Parry Lonely Planet

You might hear this small kiosk serving up booza (Syrian ice cream) before you see it. Staff wield a giant wooden pestle, rhythmically beating like a drum not only to attract attention but also to soften the ice cream. The original cream flavour is the hero, topped with pistachios as is traditional in Syria. Two or three other flavours, including chocolate, are also usually available.

Booza, which is made with Arabic gum, stays cold much longer and melts less than standard ice cream. The fact that it requires only a small amount of sugar makes it an almost guilt-free treat.