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Bakdash ice-cream shop in the old souk in Damascus.jpg
Booza being sold in the Bakdash ice cream shop in the Al-Hamidiyah Souq in Old city of Damascus
TypeIce cream
Place of originSyria
Region or stateDamascus
Main ingredientsMilk, sahlab, mastic, sugar
A dish of booza served at the Bakdash ice cream shop in Damascus.

Booza (Arabic: بوظة‎, lit. 'ice cream') is a Middle Eastern frozen dairy dessert made with mastic and sahlab (orchid flour), giving it its distinguished stretchy and chewy texture—much like dondurma.

It is traditionally made through a process of pounding[1] and stretching in a freezer drum, instead of the more usual churning method used in other ice creams.[2][3]

Ancient Damascus[edit]

In Al-Hamidiyah Souq in the Old City of Damascus, there is an ice cream store named Bakdash that is known throughout the Arab world for its stretchy and chewy ice cream. It is a popular attraction for tourists as well.[4]

Modern usage[edit]

A brother and sister team (Jilbert El-Zmetr and Tedy Altree-Williams) pioneered and created the first packaged version of booza in Australia in 2011. Using local ingredients together with sahlab and mastic (from the island of Chios, Greece), they recreated the traditional form of booza and packaged this in a take-home format available to consumers.[5]

In 2018, a booza scoop-shop named Republic of Booza opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, USA by Tamer Rabbani and Michael Sadler.[1][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fabricant, Florence (2018-06-11). "Move Over Soft Serve, There's a New Ice Cream in Town". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  2. ^ This ice cream stretches like gum - CNN Video, retrieved 2019-05-07
  3. ^ "WHAT IS BOOZA?". REPUBLIC OF BOOZA. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  4. ^ Amos, Deborah (2013-05-04). [1]. National Public Radio. Retrieved on 22 July, 2018.
  5. ^ "Bring on the booza".
  6. ^ Baker, Abbe