Salep: the Turkish cappuccino with an orchid flavor
Salep can be considered an orchid cappuccino, or more precisely a drink obtained by dissolving salep flour, derived from the roots of the plant, in a cup of hot milk. This particular flour has a fascinating history and finds application in several Turkish recipes.
What is salep milk?
Salep flour is obtained from the tuber roots of various orchids. These, during the flowering period, are picked and their rind is grated, toasted and then dried, to obtain a flour. This, mixed with hot milk, is used to make salep milk, a real orchid cappuccino, which could soon be part of the contagious milk mania. But it is also used in many other Turkish dishes, such as Dondurma ice cream.
In ancient times, this product was attributed incredible nutritional properties and was considered a powerful aphrodisiac for men: so much so that its name derives from the Arabic word which literally means “fox testicle”. It was also used to treat ailments such as diarrhea.
Today we know that this flour does not have any particular nutritional or, least of all, thaumaturgical properties, but it is perfect for producing an excellent drink, salep milk. This orchid cappuccino can be purchased on all the streets of Istanbul at a moderate price and, like the Dondurma ice cream, is designed to be enjoyed while walking.