Winter is just around the corner and as the weather gets colder we start drinking more and more hot beverages. Some of us are coffee addicts and some of us just love our herbal tea, we might keep it simple and just enjoy having a good old cup of tea when the cold weather starts kicking in. But why not try something a bit more interesting this winter? Salep is a traditional Turkish drink that will warm your body and soul. This famous ground orchid root flour from Eastern Anatolia is made into a warming hot milky drink. If you prefer soothing drinks, Salep is just the perfect drink for the cold days of Istanbul.
SALEP WAS A POPULAR DRINK DURING THE 17TH CENTURY
Salep was a very popular drink in the Ottoman Empire. It was sold in the streets from huge copper jugs. The people believed that Salep was a drink that cured digestive problems along with gum disease. Because Salep is a special drink for the winter season it helps gain resistance against coughs, cold and flu. Salep also became popular all around the world during the 17th and 18th century. It was quite popular in England and Germany too.
PLACES YOU CAN FIND SALEP
You can still see salep sellers in the streets of Istanbul during winter. They carry an oversized copper jug and pour this thick aromatic drink into small cups for customers. However the salep flour is quite expensive so you will need to pick the place that you’re going to purchase or drink it very carefully. You can find the real salep in traditional milk pudding shops like Saray Muhallebicisi or if you would like to purchase the flour you can try the Spice Bazaar. It is an amazing experience to drink salep on the ferries while crossing the Bosphorus and just gazing around the beauties of Istanbul.
HOW TO MAKE SALEP
First you need to pour milk into a saucepan and start heating it. After the milk starts boiling you can add your salep flour slowly. Don’t just put a big of spoon of salep flour in at once, it won’t be as nice if it starts forming lumps. Stir the mix for five minutes and then add the amount of sugar you would like in it. After you can pour it into your coffee cups and enjoy a hot exotic drink at the comfort of your own home. A little tip, salep tastes even better with cinnamon sprinkles on top!