Jamaican Sorrel is used during the Christmas time to make a great drink recipe.
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Jamaican Food - Sorrel At Christmas Time

Jamaican Sorrel Makes A Great Drink Recipe

Jamaican sorrel (Garden Jamaican sorrel), or scientifically known as rumex acetosa is a perennial herb, which grows abundantly in Europe and is cultivated as a leaf vegetable It is generally found in pastures where the soil contains iron. The Jamaican sorrel plant is about 60 cm high, with juicy stems and Jamaican sorrel leaves. It has whorled spikes of reddish-green flowers, which bloom in June and July. In Jamaica scientists have found a way to harvest the Jamaican sorrel plant all year round. The Jamaican sorrel leaves are oblong, the lower ones being 7 to 15 cm in length, slightly arrow-shaped at the base, with very long petioles. The upper ones are sessile, and frequently become crimson. As the flowers increase in size, they become a purplish color. The stamens and pistils are on different Jamaican sorrel plants. The seeds, when ripe, are brown and shining. The perennial roots run deeply into the ground.

Jamaican sorrel of two kinds is cultivated Garden Jamaican sorrel, or Red/French Jamaican sorrel. Garden Jamaican sorrel likes a damp situation, French Jamaican sorrel a dry soil and an open situation. The finest Jamaican sorrel plants are propagated from seed, sown in March, though it may be sown in any of the spring months. Sow moderately thin, in drills 6 inches apart, and thin out when the Jamaican sorrel plants are 1 or 2 inches high. When the stalks run up in July, they should be cut back. The roots will then put out new Jamaican sorrel leaves, which will be tender and better for kitchen use than the older Jamaican sorrel leaves, so that by cutting down the shoots of some Jamaican sorrel plants at different times; there will always be a supply of young Jamaican sorrel leaves. Both varieties are generally increased by dividing the roots, which may be done either in spring or autumn, the roots being Jamaican sorrel planted about a foot apart each way, and watered.

The Jamaican sorrel leaves are very high in vitamin C and have many uses. Young, tender spring Jamaican sorrel leaves can be used as a salad green, and are also used in Cream of Jamaican sorrel soup. Jamaican sorrel can be cooked like spinach and served with trout or salmon, or mixed in a few Jamaican sorrel leaves with your cooked spinach or chard for a sharp, lemony flavor. Fresh Jamaican sorrel leaves are used by some to soothe canker sores.

The Jamaican sorrel leaves of Jamaican sorrel are eaten by the larvae of several species of Lepidoptera including blood-vein.

Jamaican sorrel has been cultivated for centuries, although its popularity has decreased considerably over time. Because of the mildly acidic taste, it quenches thirst, and may be helpful in boosting the appetite. The Jamaican sorrel leaves are edible and may be added to salads to sharpen the taste. They are often puréed in soups and sauces in Europe. The Jamaican sorrel plant contains oxalic acid, which produces its characteristic flavor, and so may be contraindicated in people with rheumatic-type complaints, kidney or bladder stones, and the like. It is also a laxative. In Jamaica the Jamaican sorrel leaves are set to dry out then made into a great drink which is one of the Jamaican recipe collections top ten Jamaican drink recipes.

The red Jamaican sorrel or sheep Jamaican sorrel is a part of the buckwheat family and reproduces by seed and rhizomes. Red Jamaican sorrel creeps using an extensive, shallow system of roots and rhizomes and sends up new Jamaican sorrel plants at branches. Slender, erect simple branching stems emerge from the rosette of Jamaican sorrel leaves and can reach 6 to 18 inches in height with flowers borne at the apex. The simple Jamaican sorrel leaves of sheep Jamaican sorrel are fleshy, approximately 1 to 3 inches long, and arrow-shaped having two basal lobes. They mostly emerge from a rosette in the early period of growth and alternate along the stem later. The Jamaican sorrel leaves have an acidic taste. The flowers are yellow to red borne clustered at the ends of stems. Flowering occurs June to August and male and female flowers develop on different Jamaican sorrel plants. Sheep Jamaican sorrel is best grown occurs in acidic soils of low fertility, often where there is a lack of competition.

The Jamaican sorrel plant can be cultivated naturally or with chemical control. Using natural manure and controlled watering can yield a good Jamaican sorrel harvest. Chemical assisted cultivation involves the use of broadleaf herbicides during periods of active growth from mid spring through early summer and again during autumn.

Jamaican sorrel is well known for the grateful acidity of its herbage, which is most marked when the Jamaican sorrel plant is in full season, though in early spring it is almost tasteless. Domestic animals are fond most species of Jamaican sorrel. The Jamaican sorrel leaves contain a considerable quantity of bin oxalate of potash, which gives them their acid flavor and medicinal and dietetic properties. They have been employed from the most distant time as a salad. In Jamaica Jamaican sorrel is put into several recipes and soups, forming the chief constituent of the favorite Jamaican Summer Soup Recipe.

In the early 1600’s Jamaican sorrel was brought to Jamaica by the French and English settlers who Jamaican sorrel planted the seeds and used it as a key ingredient in many of their recipes. Jamaican sorrel is anti-scorbutic, resisting putrefaction and in the making of sallets imparts a grateful quickness to the rest as supplying the want of oranges and lemons. Together with salt, it gives both the name and the relish to sallets from the sapidity, which renders not Jamaican sorrel plants and herbs only, but men themselves pleasant and agreeable.

Jamaican sorrel is aids in reducing inflammation and heat of blood in agues pestilential or choleric, or sickness or fainting arising from heat. Roots and seeds, as well as the herb, are held powerful to resist the poison of the scorpion. The Jamaican sorrel leaves help to treat sores. In Jamaica, the Jamaican sorrel leaves are now rarely eaten, Beating the herb to a mash and take it mixed with vinegar and sugar, as a green sauce with cold meat, hence one of its popular names Green-sauce. Because of their acidity, the Jamaican sorrel leaves, treated as spinach, make a capital dressing with stewed beef, veal or sweetbread. A few of the Jamaican sorrel leaves may also with advantage be added to turnips and spinach. When boiled by itself, without water, it serves as an excellent accompaniment to roast goose or pork, instead of apple sauce.

Jamaican sorrel has sometimes been used in time of scarcity to put into bread. The Jamaican sorrel leaves contain a little starch and mucilage, and the root is rather farinaceous. The juice of the Jamaican sorrel leaves will curdle milk as well as rennet. The dried root affords a beautiful red color when boiled and used for making barley water look like red wine, when in Jamaica they wish to avoid giving anything of a vinous nature to the sick. The salt of Jamaican sorrel, bin oxalate of potash, is much used for bleaching straw and removing ink stains from linen, and is often sold in the shops under the name of essential salt of lemons.

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