Sunday, 1 December 2013

25 Days of Christmas: Sorrel

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It's official... HAPPY DECEMBER!!!
December is usually seen as a time of love, happiness and cheer. But in the office, it's more like grumpy, crazy... and some people are just downright scary! It's when the Christmas trees go up, the savings go down, and our bellies... well, they start getting quite round! Yes, I rhymed on purpose, it was there so why not? I'm sure I've mentioned before that in Trinidad, we love to eat! It's no different for Christmas, even around the world; Christmas is well-known for brilliant holiday treats.
One of my most favourite parts of a Trini Christmas... Sorrel! Though sorrel drinks are now commercially produced, as for most things, it doesn't compare to boiling a big pot of your own, putting it in the freezer until just icy, and having a cold glass with some ham and hops, fruit cake, pastelles or other local holiday favourites.

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Outside of the Caribbean, the sorrel plant is more commonly known as the roselle hibiscus.
"Vernacular names, in addition to roselle, in English-speaking regions are rozelle, sorrel, red sorrel, Jamaica sorrel, Indian sorrel, Guinea sorrel, sour-sour, Queensland jelly plant, jelly okra, lemon bush, and Florida cranberry. In French, roselle is called oseille rouge, or oseille de Guinée; in Spanish, quimbombó chino, sereni, rosa de Jamaica, flor de Jamaica, Jamaica, agria, agrio de Guinea, quetmia ácida, viña and viñuela; in Portuguese, vinagreira, azeda de Guiné, cururú azédo, and quiabeiro azédo; in Dutch (Surinam), zuring. In North Africa and the Near East roselle is called karkadé or carcadé and it is known by these names in the pharmaceutical and food-flavoring trades in Europe. In Senegal, the common name is bisap. The names flor de Jamaica and hibiscus flores (the latter employed by "health food" vendors), are misleading because the calyces are sold, not the flowers." (source)
Whatever the name, I call it delicious. It's definitely something I look forward to every year. Just a sip of this incredibly refreshing drink and I feel Christmas.

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