February 14th, 2017

Monday-ish words: salep, saloop

salep (săl′əp), noun
A starchy meal ground from the dried roots of some orchids (mainly from the genus Orchis).
Sometimes spelled 'sahlep', 'sahlab', or 'salaab'.

Etymology:  Turkish, from the orchid from which it is traditionally made.  Whose name supposedly comes from Arabic (ḫuṣā al)-ṯa'lab, (testicles of the) fox, due to the appearance of the tubers.

I learned of salep in the Taste of Persia cookbook I recently purchased.
According to multiple sites, it is illegal to export true salep, because of a decline in the populations of wild orchids.

saloop (sə-lo͞op′) noun
A hot drink made from salep (originally, and sassafras later) and other ingredients, and formerly used as a tonic.
This drink is sometimes called 'salep'...I think that might be the original term, with 'saloop' being a British variation.

Etymology:  an alteration of 'salep', dating from the 1700s.

According to Wikipedia, saloop was popular until it began to be purported as a remedy for venereal disease, and "drinking it in public became shameful".