Hibiscus or Jamaica Flowers


Hibiscus or Jamaica Flowers

Originally from Africa or India, hibiscus flowers arrived in Mexico in colonial times and have become deeply integrated into Mexican cuisine. Often used to prepare agua de jamaica, or freshly flavored water, fruit popsicles or Jell-O, the dried flowers infuse the liquid with a deep, vivid red color.

They are not just any Hibiscus flower though. These are “Hibiscus Sabdariffa” also known as Roselle. In Mexico known as Jamaica, it is well known in Mexico that the flowers contain helpful diuretic and digestive properties, as well as high levels of vitamin C and other minerals. These days it is easy to get them in many stores in the US or online. They can be incorporated into many other dishes to add a peculiarly tangy taste, similar to cranberries.

When I was younger I used to enjoy playing with the flowers and pretending to make magical potions in my family’s kitchen.  Now that I am grown up, I keep on playing with them in my own kitchen! More modern takes of Jamaica include it in sauces for meats, vinaigrettes for salads and different kinds of desserts.

17 comments on “Hibiscus or Jamaica Flowers

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  1. I made your cookies when I saw the episode one day. We fell in love. They I had to go gluten-free due to my Celiac diagnosis. My husband and missed them so I made them gluten free with a hibiscus cream cheese Frosting. Literally one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life 😋

  2. I drink aqua de Jamaica every day. I have also used your chocolate jamaica cookie recipe for several years. Love your recipes. I never thought of popsicles. Thanks for the idea.

  3. Please post a fresh flower, so people will know what the flower looks like in Nature…….I think it will be meaningful ( present the nature also !!! ) – Thank you.

  4. I make your Aqua de Jamaica all the time. So hooked on it. I did a medical literature search about claims of being useful for diabetics and people with high blood pressure. Found many pieces of supporting literature from reputable sources.