March 4, 2021

Sorrel

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Senegalese Bissap

From The Seasoning Bottle

I drink a version of bissap every Christmas season with my family and didn’t even it. It was not until I went to a restaurant in Little Senegal, a Senegalese neighborhood in Harlem, where I had bissap and I found a connection between my Jamaican culture and African heritage. Bissap is the national drink of Senegal and can be enjoyed at every meal. It’s floral aroma has a slight tang with citrus undertones. Commonly known as sorrel in the Caribbean or flor de Jamaica in Mexico, bissap goes by a few different names depending on which tropical climate you have it in. The deep ruby colored drink comes from a hibiscus flower native to West Africa. If you drink hot hibiscus tea in the morning, bissap is its cooler counterpart that is traditionally served cold. Bissap is simply sweetened with sugar, but it easily transforms into a spiced drink with the addition if ginger, cloves, allspice seeds, or orange peels.

When I am in New York and Atlanta I know exactly where to find dried bissap or sorrel petals. I go to any Caribbean, Latin, or African food market and I know I’ll find it. Oddly (or not so oddly), I knew exactly (well not exactly, I did a little wandering) where to find bissap here in Paris where I currently live. I headed to Chateau Rouge, a district in Paris where shoppers can find speciality products and foods from North and Saharan Africa. I roamed a few narrow streets passing hair braiding shops and seamstress shops. I found a quaint grocery store where I spotted a bag of dried bissap almost immediately, along with a few other spices I was in need of. I roamed further to discover a full market of vendors on the street selling meats, fresh produce, and roasted chestnuts charing on an open flame.

I am very excited to have this post be included in a virtual Black History Month Potluck. This potluck feature recipes from black bloggers that have to unique cultural input to the culinary world. Be sure to check out other bloggers of color from our Facebook page – We Love Black Food Bloggers.

To download the recipe go to web link below

About the author:

Hi I am Briana. This is my blog- The Seasoning Bottle.

I use it as a platform to share my love of cooking and to share my life. I love how food connects people and cultures.

I would describe my cooking style as Southernly Caribbean. I grew up as a southern peach in Atlanta, GA and raised by a single very stern Jamaican mother. I very much enjoy chicken and waffles for brunch and curry goat with rice and peas for dinner. Many ingredients I use have a Caribbean or tropical origin with hints of southern influence. My cooking style is intuitive, spicy, and bold.

I spent a lot of time at a Kia dealership selling cars for the first few years of my working career. I figured that if I spent the bulk of my day pitching to people why they should spend 25k on a car, that I could spend the same time pitching to people why they should love avocados as much as I do! So I quit and started working in quaint French Bakery making pasties. I recently moved to New York and now I am a student at NYU in its Food Studies Master’s Program.

Questions? Email me: briana{@}seasoningbottle.com

For more on this story go to: http://www.seasoningbottle.com/tag/caribbean/

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