What Is Sorrel?
Sorrel is a leafy green plant with a distinctive sour, lemony flavor. It belongs to the knotweed family and is often found at farmers’ markets during spring or summer. There are several varieties of sorrel, including common sorrel (Rumex acetosa), French sorrel (Rumex scutatus), red-veined sorrel (Rumex sanguineus), and sheep’s sorrel (Rumex acetosella).
Common sorrel is a deep-rooted perennial with a sharp flavor and large, arrow-shaped leaves. French sorrel has a milder flavor with smaller, more rounded leaves. Red-veined sorrel has deep red veins running through its leaves, with a mild, almost un-sorrel-like flavor. Sheep’s sorrel grows wild in the United States and is about as sour as common sorrel but with smaller leaves.
Sorrel has a bright and tart taste, often compared to lemons due to its sourness. It can be difficult to work with due to its lemony and deep grassy flavor. Sorrel can be used as a leafy herb, like parsley or basil, or as a green, like ripe leaves in salads and stir-fries. Its tart and bright flavor makes it great for adding life to potatoes, eggs, whole grains, and fish. It is also classically paired with cream, sour cream, or yogurt, adding a vibrant green color and tartness to these plain items.
Sorrel is also a great addition to other cooked greens, such as spinach, chard, or kale, for a lovely sour kick.
Varieties of Sorrel
English sorrel is the classic plant species traditionally used to make sorrel soup in spring. Within this species you will find five sorrel varieties:
- Bellville sorrel
- Blistered Leaf sorrel
- Fervent’s New Large sorrel
- Common garden sorrel
- Teal Sorrel Blonde
Garden sorrel often has arrow-shaped leaves, although leaf shape may vary between the varieties of sorrel. The new young leaves that emerge from the garden sorrel plant in spring are delicious, with a lemon zest flavor.
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How does sorrel taste?
Sorrel is a tart, vibrant tea with a taste similar to cranberries or currants. It is typically served as a sweet tea over ice or hot, and can be edible and added to salads. Different cultures prepare sorrel differently, with Jamaicans adding ginger, Trinidadians aiming for an opaque product, and others adding cinnamon, clove, citrus like lime, lemon, or orange. Rum can also be added or left virgin. Sorrel is suitable for jams, jellies, salad dressings, and even shandy in Trinidad. Jamaicans often add ginger, while Trinidadians aim for an opaque product. The flower is edible and can be added to salads.
Cooking With Sorrel
Sorrel is a versatile herb with a longer lifespan than most herbs, lasting up to 1-2 weeks when stored properly. It can be wrapped in a damp paper towel and stored in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator. To extend its lifespan, pre-wash and press the sorrel leaves in layers of damp paper towel in a plastic container.
Sorrel can be used in various recipes, from heavy meat dishes to fortifying teas. Its pungent sour flavor is best when combined with rich ingredients, as it can overpower milder dishes. It pairs well with fatty fishes like salmon, creamy cheeses, and egg dishes. Sorrel is also commonly wilted into soups and incorporated into pasta dishes to add brightness and acidity. It also makes a great addition to spring greens mixtures, adding a tangy herbaceous flavor while holding up to various dressings and toppings.
The Monstera fruit, resembling a corn ear covered in green scales, is a delicious treat for the taste buds. Its yellowish fruit, also resembling corn kernels, is beneath the scales. Timing is crucial when sampling this exotic fruit, which thrives in hot, humid conditions. Once the scales come off and the fruit emits a sweet aroma, it’s ready to eat. However, eating too soon can be uncomfortable, making it a game of Russian roulette.
Where to Buy Sorrel
Sorrel is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various recipes or mixed salads. apartmentflowers offers a variety of sorrel products, including organic options, with delivery within 2 hours. Customers can order from local and national retailers and enjoy on-demand, contactless delivery or pickup within 2 hours.
What is sorrel used for?
Who should not eat sorrel?
Wood sorrel is a potentially dangerous substance, especially when used in high doses. It can cause diarrhea, nausea, increased urination, skin reactions, stomach and intestine irritation, eye damage, and kidney damage. It can also cause swelling of the mouth, tongue, and throat, making speaking and breathing difficult. The crystals in the blood can deposit in various organs, including the kidneys, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and liver. Some people are at even greater risk for serious side effects, so it is crucial not to give wood sorrel to children or take it yourself if you have any of the following conditions. One four-year-old child died after eating rhubarb leaves, which also contain oxalic acid. Therefore, it is essential to be cautious when using wood sorrel.
Is sorrel the same as spinach?
Sorrel, also known as perennial spinach, is an edible plant that grows year-round. Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked and are slightly acidic. Spring growth is best until the plants flower from May to June. New growth appears in autumn, and can be harvested in spring and autumn. To grow, start seeds in trays or direct sow, plant out or thin out to 25-30 cm spacing, and harvest in spring and autumn. Water regularly in summer and be cautious of slugs hiding under the plants.
sorrel benefits for hair
Sorrel wine, a dark red drink popular among Jamaicans, is a member of the hibiscus family and can be used to give hair a lighter red color or red highlights naturally. To create natural red highlights, mix 2 cups of Jamaican sorrel with 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of honey in a small saucepan. Let the sorrel soak for 2-4 hours or overnight, then strain the liquid and stir in the honey and cinnamon. Shampoo your hair normally, then pour the liquid over the hair, massage in the scalp, and apply to the areas to be highlighted. Wrap your hair with a cap and leave on for 60 minutes or more before rinsing out.
Hibiscus plant juices can also be infused with water as a tea, soothing dry scalp, providing excellent slip when used as a final rinse, strengthening hair from root to tip, sealing hair cuticles, and stopping hair breakage. Black Hair 101 offers recipes for a Hibiscus Tea Rinse, a Hibiscus/Sorrel Hair Oil, and a Hibiscus Conditioner.
Hibiscus plants are rich in alpha hydroxy acids and amino acids, a natural diuretic, vitamins, including Vitamin C and several minerals. To make your own hibiscus hair oil, crush five or six petals of hibiscus with about three leaves, place in a hot carrier oil (coconut, olive, castor), leave crushed hibiscus in oil on low flame, remove after 10 minutes, and strain when cool. If not using fresh plants, 1/2 cup of dried hibiscus is potent and can work just as well.
For a Hibiscus Tea Rinse for hair, use 4 cups Red Jamaican Sorrel and 1 tsp ginger. Place the sorrel in a bowl, grate a piece of ginger, pour boiling hot water over it, steep the mixture in hot water for two to four hours, and apply slowly to freshly shampooed hair. Rinse out with fresh water.
Know more: How to use Sorrel For hair growth?
sorrel benefits for skin
Sorrel, also known as spinach dock, is a tart-flavored leaf with numerous medicinal properties. It is a rich source of nutrients, vitamins, macronutrients, and protein, making it a valuable addition to various healthy meals and diets. Sorrel leaves can be used as a herb, dressing in salads and soups, or as a vegetable and flavoring. They provide health benefits such as maintaining a healthy heart and skin, detoxifying the body, and relieving acute and chronic discomfort and inflammation in the nasal passages and respiratory system. They also help treat bacterial infections and improve urine flow as a diuretic. Essiac, a herbal cancer therapy, contains sorrel. Oral consumption of sorrel can help maintain healthy sinuses and cure sinusitis when combined with gentian root, European elder flower, verbena, and cowslip flower.
There are various types of sorrel available in the market, including common sorrel (Rumex acetosa), French sorrel (Rumex scutatus), red-veined sorrel (Rumex sanguineus), and sheep’s sorrel (Rumex acetosella). Common sorrel is the most readily available and has a sharp flavor and large, arrow-shaped leaves. French sorrel has a milder flavor and smaller, more rounded leaves.