One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A starchy preparation of the dried tubers of various orchids, used as a thickener in cooking, and formerly in medicines and tonics.
- ‘Place salep and sugar in a small saucepan; mixing well. Add cold milk gradually stirring constantly to prevent lumping.’
- ‘Indeed packets of ‘instant salep’ list cornflour as an ingredient, along with salep and sugar.’
- ‘Salep is made from the powdered root of several species of wild orchid, and is both tasty and nourishing. It keeps the body warm in cold weather and increases resistance against the colds and coughs of winter.’
Mid 18th century: from French, from Turkish sālep, from Arabic ( ḵuṣa-'ṯ-) ṯa‘lab, the name of an orchid (literally ‘fox's testicles’).
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