You’ve probably already noticed that the Winter months are on the way, meaning that it’s time to start enjoying all the things that make us feel warm and cozy. A great way to get that toasty warm feeling is to indulge in a winter beverage heralding from Turkey known as Salep with ceylon cinnamon sticks.
Made from sugar, milk, and orchid powder, it’s a real classic in Turkey that’s enjoyed by millions. In this blog, we’re going to be looking at how to make it yourself. It truly is a unique beverage everyone should try at some point in their lives, as it’s like no other.
It’s difficult to compare salep to any other drink in existence but suffice to say, it’s super delicious and very much represents a hug in a mug that will warm your core when it’s cold outside. Typically served with a sprinkling of cinnamon powder on top and a cinnamon stick inside, it offers flavors to die for!
What Exactly Is Salep?
Interestingly, the hugely popular Turkish Winter beverage that is salep is created using powder made from ground orchid bulbs. The particular genus orchid that’s used is known to grow in the fertile soil found in the Anatolia area of Turkey and the beverage that is complemented so well by ceylon cinnamon sticks is made from a single variety called Orchis.
Your average orchis orchid bulb is egg-shaped, with two separate bulbs sitting side by side. One is typically larger than the other and environmentally-conscious Turkish farmers only usually pick the smaller one, as it allows the plant to recover and regrow the missing bulb. It’s a great way to ensure that the genus of orchids used doesn’t become extinct.
After they’re picked, the next step in the process is to wash the bulbs and then boil them using either milk or water, after which they’re left out in the temperate Turkish climate to dry. Once fully dried, it’s then ground up to create the familiar starchy powder that’s used in households across the country.
So, How Is Salep Beverage Made?
Ok, so now we get onto the point of the article - showing you how this mouthwatering winter drink is actually made. Firstly, you’ll need four basic ingredients, which in this case are salep powder, sugar, milk, and some ceylon cinnamon sticks. The good news is that the process is about as hard as making a cup of coffee at home, so it’s something everyone can try.
To begin with, you should bring around a cup full of milk to the boil in a saucepan, while at the same time whisking 2½ tablespoons of salep powder in a small bowl with around 2-3 teaspoons of sugar. Once your milk is ready, add the mixture to your hot milk and stir until it has a smooth texture.
Stay Patient While It Cooks!
The next part is probably the hardest, as you’ll need to wait around 15 minutes with the gorgeous aroma in the air without drinking the salep! Don’t worry, as it passes quicker than you might think and you’ll know when it’s ready, as it will have thickened, now having the consistency of cream.
All that’s left to do now is to serve it in a mug or cup and sprinkle some cinnamon powder over the top before adding one of your ceylon cinnamon sticks into the drink itself. This will infuse the beverage with cinnamon tones that will have your tastebuds jumping!
A Sumptuous Beverage That Simply Must Be Tried
So there you have it, a delicious, warming drink that doesn’t take long to make at all. It’s worth reiterating that if you’ve yet to try salep, it’s something we recommend you do, as it’s never quite what people are expecting, but the feedback is almost always positive!
The great news is that getting hold of quality ceylon cinnamon sticks is super easy, with a visit to the Little Istanbul Gifts shop all that’s required. There you’ll also find an incredible range of spices and ingredients from all over the world that you can use to add a new dimension to your cooking.
All that’s left to say is that we hope you enjoy trying this wonderful Turkish drink and that you find it every bit as tasty and warming as we do!