Popular ice cream shop in China's Xinjiang

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Popular ice cream shop in China's Xinjiang

The popular ice cream shop, Gulandam, in Yining, Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. WANG ZHIHUA XINHUA URUMQI On his arrival in Yining, one of China's westernmost cities, Liu Junjie, traveling from the southern coastal province of Guangdong, could not wait to savor the local signature street food Ili ice cream.

I've looked forward to it for a long time and finally got to taste it, says Liu. I can eat it all day. I'm going to recommend it to my friends. Gulandam, the ice cream shop that Liu visited, is located in a tourist area of Yining, Ili Kazak autonomous prefecture in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Ili ice cream is a time-honored local specialty known for its thick, silky texture and creamy flavor. The handmade treat is a fusion of the characteristics of ice creams enjoyed by the various ethnicities living in the prefecture.

Gulandam was built in a former courtyard in the early years of 2019 and was soon a hit with the rapid development of local tourism. Wang Cheng, the shop's owner, said it can receive more than 3,000 diners a day during the busy season.

Wang, who has developed over 30 flavors with more than 20 ingredients, says our ice cream combines traditional ice cream-making techniques of the Uygur and other ethnic groups.

A tourist displays her choice of ice cream at the shop. The ice cream WANG ZHIHUA XINHUA Ili has attracted a lot of fans online. Visitors can enjoy an ice cream buried beneath thick layers of jam, nuts and dried fruit, or posing with an ice cream in hand in the picturesque landscape, thanks to video clips and photos posted on social media platforms.

Constant industrial development and business acumen of local entrepreneurs have made it possible for people in other parts of China to indulge their sweet tooth by getting frozen treat delivered to their doorstep.

After a degree in food science and engineering, Amatjan Abduriyim decided to open an ice cream factory in Yining.

Amatjan Abduriyim says our business is getting on track, and orders from other parts of China are increasing.

Over four metric tons of ice cream have been sold to Southwest China's Chengdu, Central China's Henan province, and other regions last year, according to Amatjan Abduriyim.

I never thought that the ice cream that used to be peddled along the streets of Ili would develop into an industry with such a big market, Wang says.