I have been on a wild goose chase for a traditional Turkish/Greek ingredient, salep (also spelled salepi, sahlep, sahlepi, salop). It is a powder made from wild orchid root, and is used most notably in the Greek kaimaki ice cream (see: http://foodjunkie.eu/2009/02/25/kaima...), and the Turkish chewy ice cream, dondurma (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/din...). Since I doubt that I have any chance to find kaimaki ice cream in the US, I am determined to make my own, but need salep. While I can use cornstarch as a substitute, but I'd really like to do this right.
If anyone knows of a Turkish or Greek grocer that stocks this ingredient, I'd forever be indebted! Kaimaki ice cream is one of my fondest childhood memories. Thanks so much!