Salep, a warm drink popular in Turkey, is made from milk and ground what?

A. Orchid tubers

B. Saffron threads

C. Grape seeds

D. Lentil hulls


In Turkey, winter is the season of salep, a hot, milky drink traditionally made from ground orchid tubers. A beloved street food, salep is the consistency of eggnog and usually topped with cinnamon. Five hundred to 2,000 orchid plants are needed for a single pound of salep flour. Unfortunately, habitat loss, climate change, and over-harvesting have damaged the orchid supply. Protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) have done little to stop collection, though do make legitimate export difficult. Turkish expats around the world turn to cheap imitations or online black markets for supposedly “pure” salep flour. A packet of 75 grams (about 2.6 ounces) sells for almost $60.

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