Red Sorrel, an annual plant, is a member of the mallow family. It is very sensitive to frost and not cold hardy at all. It has reddish stems and green leaves. It flowers for a day with red flowers, then the petals drop off, leaving behind seed pods about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long (5 to 7.5 cm.) The seed pods are referred to as the fruit.
The fruit needs to be harvested about 3 weeks after the plant flowered, while the fruit pods are still crisp, tender, plump and juicy. They will turn woody if on the plant too much past that.
The fruit is bright red and slightly tart. Some varieties are less tart than others.
The fruit is sold fresh or dried. Fresh will be available in ethnic markets.
Red Sorrel is grown around the world. It is popular in the Caribbean, especially in desserts and to make wines and other beverages from. It can be used to colour and flavour some rums. Fresh leaves of the plant are eaten in salads and as a potherb.
Dried Red Sorrel fruit is used as the base for many commercial herbal teas. Dried from Sudan is preferred over that from Asia, as it is less tart and gives a reddish hue in teas rather than purple.
Per 100g (leaves): 43 calories, 3.3g protein, .3g fat, 9.2g carbohydrate, 54mg ascorbic acid
It was popular in Florida as a substitute for cranberries in preserves and baked goods. It declined in popularity throughout the United States in the 1950s as real cranberry producers in the north stepped up production and distribution.
Hard FruitApples; Apricots; Avocado; Citrus Fruit; Grape Kiwis; Guava Fruit; Hard Fruit; Kiwis; Mangos; Maypop Fruit; Medlars; Melons; Nectarines; Passion Fruit; Peaches; Pears; Pineapples; Plums; Pomegranates; Quinces; Red Sorrel; Rose Hips; Sapote; Star Fruit; True Service Fruit
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