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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).
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]