Did you know sorrel is an alternative word for one of the most common equine coat colors in horses?
While the term is usually used to refer to a copper-red shade of chestnut, in some places it is used generically in place of “chestnut” to refer to any reddish horse with a same-color or lighter mane and tail, ranging from reddish-gold to a deep burgundy or chocolate shade.
The term probably comes from the color of the flower spike of the sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa).
Did you know there is a perennial herb called sorrel that belongs to the family Polygonaceae?
This herb is a leafy green vegetable that looks a lot like spinach. The vegetable is native to Europe and is commonly known as spinach dock, common sorrel; garden sorrel, sour grabs, narrow-leaved dock or sour grass. It is a common plant in grassland habitats and is cultivated as a garden herb or leaf vegetable.
One of the main ingredients in sorrel is oxalic acid, which gives it its acidity and prominent taste. Sorrel is extremely low in calories and high in water content, which makes it a healthy food choice for health conscious individuals.
Did you know sorrel is one of the most popular beverages in the Caribbean around Christmas time?
Sorrel is an annual plant that belongs to the family Hibiscus sabdariffa and in the Caribbean it is grown for it fleshy, dark red sepals, which remain after it has blossomed.
These dark red sepals are either boiled or soaked in boiling water with various spices such as cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, lemon rind, etc. to make the aromatic drink.
In kwéyòl it is called lozѐy and there is also the white sorrel which we use in the same way as the red.
Did you know our sorrel is also called roselle?
In the Caribbean and Latin America it is called sorrel whereas it is known as the rosella or rosella fruit in Australia. It is called Flor de Jamaica in Mexico, Saril in Panama and grosella in Paraguay.
Did you know sorrel is also used to make jams and jellies?
Did you know in Myanmar cuisine, sorrel is called chin baung ywet (sour leaf), and is widely used and considered an affordable vegetable for the population. It is perhaps the most widely eaten and popular vegetable in Myanmar. The leaves are fried with garlic, dried or fresh prawns and green chili or cooked with fish.
A light soup made from roselle leaves and dried prawn stock is also a popular dish.
Among some tribes in India the leaves of both hibiscus sabdariffa and hibiscus cannabinus are cooked along with chicken, fish, crab or pork, one of their traditional cuisines.
In the Philippines, the leaves and flowers are used to add sourness to chicken dish “Tinola” (Polynesian Chicken Stew).
Photo credit: A.A.
This feature runs every Tuesday and Thursday. It is compiled by daughter of the soil Anselma Aimable, a former agricultural officer and former correspondent for Caribbean Net News, who has a deep interest in local culture and history. Send ideas and tips to [email protected]