It's August and time for ice cream

Jim McKenney
Wed, 01 Aug 2007 13:08:59 PDT
This afternoon I was sent this link to an article in the NYT’s food section:

Stretchy ice cream…
This will be of interest to members of this group for two reasons at least.
The stretchy quality of the ice cream is the result of adding either salep
or konjac.

Salep is made from the corms of orchids (of the genus Orchis mostly, I
think) and has an ancient history of usage. The genus Orchis of course gets
its name from the Greek word for testicle.  The NYT article says the word
salep is Arabic for “fox testicle”.  And Parkinson, in his Paradisus of
1629, refers to at least one of these plants as “fox stones”. This meaning
of “stones” persists in modern American English, although it’s not common. 

It’s great that Cyclamen, Sternbergia and Galanthus have gained CITES
protection; now a new leak has sprung, and they’re going after the Orchis. 

Konjac of course is our stinky old friend Amorphophallus konjac. This is
used to make a wide variety of foods. Konjac is used as a substitute for
salep. As the article explains, they both contain "mucilaginous
carbohydrates" called glucomannans.  

Given the anatomical allusions in the botanical names, I suppose this
stretchy ice cream must be a powerful aphrodisiac! 

I wouldn't want the job of marketing this ice cream to people who know what
those botanical names mean. But I'll bet a good advertising firm could have
a blast with it. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I splashed some water
on a part of the garden the other day and some rain lilies soon popped up. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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