Episode: EP 15 - Salep The Edible Orchids + Interview with Susanne Masters

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EP 15 - Salep The Edible Orchids + Interview with Susanne Masters
With special guest Susanne Masters In our 15th episode on the show, we’re going to investigate an interesting groups of plants that we’ve been hunting for in the wild across the mountainous terrain of Kosovo, which is a small country situated in the Balkans that borders with Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Serbia. Orchids belong to the Orchidaceae family. Many of you plant lovers may even have a lovely orchid decorating your home, or office or garden. Many of the orchids sold commercially are propagated through cell culture techniques so as not to deplete wild collections. Orchids aren’t just for beauty though – some of them are even edible. One edible example you may be familiar with is vanilla – this comes from the fruit pod of an orchid species that is native to Central America. Here in the Balkans, there are several species that are consumed, with the underground tubers being harvested to create a special beverage called salep. Are you intrigued yet? Orchids are a plant lover’s delight – they bring this amazing level of beauty to home interiors and gardens. In the Eastern Mediterranean, spanning the Balkans and Anatolia, there are some species found in the wild that also serve as a special food ingredient known as salep. In this episode, I join an orchid expert in the Balkans to learn more. *** Have you ever wondered where your food comes from? Not just where it’s grown today, but where it originally popped up in the world? Have you ever bit into a delicious, red juicy ripe fruit and wondered, hey – why is it this color? What’s responsible for this amazing flavor? Or – is this good for my health? Could it even be medicinal? Foodie Pharmacology is a food podcast built for the food curious, the flavor connoisseurs, chefs, science geeks, foodies and adventurous taste experimenters out in the world! So, join me on this adventure through history, medicine, cuisine and molecules as we explore the amazing pharmacology of our foods. Dr. Cassandra Quave is an American ethnobotanist, herbarium curator, and assistant professor at Emory University. Her research focuses on analyzing wild plants used in traditional cultures for food and medicine to combat some of the greatest challenges we face today in medicine: antibiotic resistant infections and cancer.

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