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Enjoying ‘salep’, the winter drink of choice in Turkey


ANAMED 2015-16 Fellow Catherine Barclay-Scott shares her impressions on her discovery of salep, ‘the winter drink of choice in Turkey’, in a recent field trip…

This weekend, ANAMED took a field trip to Iznik, Bursa, and Trilye to visit Byzantine and Ottoman remains. Among the many things we discovered on this trip was salep, the winter drink of choice in Turkey.  

Made from orchid root, salep was a favorite during the Ottoman Empire before the proliferation of other hot beverages like coffee and tea. It is not unlike hot chocolate, though salep is generally thicker, and has a sweet milky taste. It is often served with cinnamon.


Some of us had our first taste of salep sitting in the Koza Hanı (The Silk Bazaar) in Bursa, but it is served at cafes and restaurants around the country. Salep powder is also used to make ice cream. As the weather continues to get colder in Istanbul, I’m sure we will be drinking more salep in the months to come! Afiyet olsun!