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Salep/ Sahlab: The Best Winter Drink, EVER

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Salep/ Sahlab: The Best Winter Drink, EVER

NicoleFriedman | Sep 26, 2010 11:55 AM

I was in Istanbul several years ago and had my first sip of salep/sahlab (the english translation varies). Basically it is a thick, foamy white drink made from the ground root of the orchid. The coffee shop I had it in whipped it up with an espresso foamer and it was heavenly.

I live in NY and thankfully can buy a mix from a specialty store on Lex Ave. I use 1 1/2 Tb mix to 1 cup milk. Whisk thoroughly while heating to eliminate lumps. Once it coats the back of a spoon it's done. I then like to add vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon and ground pistachios. Some people like to add rose or orange blossom water (but I find this makes it taste like soap). Next time I'll probably add some cardamom.

I'm wondering if anyone else loves salep like I do. Also, if you have any idea how to whip it to a foamier consistency without the aid of an espresso machine? Or, if you know of any place in the NYC area that actually sells it hot- I've been to almost every turkish restaurant I know and can't find it.

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