Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Turkish salep, from Arabic سَحْلَب (saḥlab). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Arabic word is said to be a contraction of ﭐلثَعْلَب (aṯ-ṯaʿlabi, “fox's”) خُصي (ḵaṣyu, “testicles”).
salep (plural saleps)
- A starch or jelly made out of orchid-like plants.
2014 April 5, “Quite interesting: A quietly intriguing column from the brains behind QI, the BBC quiz show. This week; QI orchids you not”, in The Daily Telegraph (Weekend), page W22:
- The tubers of one [orchid] species, Orchis mascula, produce a flour called salep, which was made into a drink known as "saloop" in 18th-century London, as an alternative to coffee (Charles Lamb thought it the ideal breakfast for chimney sweeps). Salep is a Turkish word with an even more precise derivation (it's from the Arabic for "fox's testicles"). Despite this, the Turks still use it to make a strange elastic ice cream, eaten with a knife and fork, which carries a pungent aftertaste compared by one commentator to the scent of "goats on a rainy day". Salep ice cream is so popular that O. mascula is now a protected species in Turkey.