What is Sorrel exactly?

Sorrel is a plant that apparently grows all over the place down here and in other similar climates around the world. It  can often be confused as a weed… since it is a kind of weed… since it is not a decorative plant and it grows wildly.

The leaves can be used in soups or salads it has a very sharp fruity taste. The sharpness comes from a natural poison called oxalic acid, which is only fatal in very large quantities… and it is also found in black tea and other oxalate plants (i.e.: spinach and rhubarb). Eating way to much would lead to kidney stones and a potential death from glycol poisoning.

The flowers (which will not bloom until mid summer in our climate) can be dried and brewed into tea that tastes similar to hibiscus tea. The variant of tea found in Jamaica called Rosa de Jamaica is sometimes made from red sorrel instead of hibiscus.

I have yet to find either in our local food stores, though I have not checked the ethnic marts and they usually have everything. I have seen some wild sorrel outside of my office, but I’m not sure what the soil quality is or what kinds of chemicals have been used on it so I will not give it a try.

Have you seen it anywhere? Have you tried it yet?



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