The meaning of winter might depend on your tastes. Winter means skiing freely for some people while it means watching movies under blanket for others. Some look forward to wearing colorful shawls and berets on freezing days, but some dream of walking in the rain. What about winter foods and drinks? Winter reminds some people of various heartwarming soups while others remember yummy hot drinks when winter comes. Roasted chestnuts are the winner in winter for most people. For two of us and for most Turkish people winter evokes the irresistible smell of salep! Patisseries and cafes start to serve it to their customers in winter and you can feel its smell even from the street if they use genuine salep. The packaged ones sold at markets are mostly a mixture with salep powder, which sends it away from genuineness. If you would like to taste the scrumptious flavor of it, it’s better to buy it from herbalist shops in Turkey. You can understand if it’s genuine or not from its price. It is around $140 per kilo. Don’t be afraid of this high price, you never need a kilo of it. 50-100 grams of salep will suffice for a year.
Some cafes might make salep with hot water, which is not advised. It is definitely not salep, but a salep like drink.You must use milk when making salep. It’s very important to serve salep very hot, it could almost burn your mouth, this is where the pleasure lies. It is typically served with cinnamon powder topping, but I used crumbled walnuts this time. It is still so yummy! You can replace it with other nuts too!
I tried another recipe for salep before, but this one is better as there is no need for additional starch if you find genuine salep.