hibiscus

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.

Comments

17comments inHibiscus or Jamaica Flowers

  1. Erica Acosta

    Aug 19

    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 😋

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 23

      Nice Erica, great idea! Have a great Sunday 😉

  2. Lourdes’s

    Aug 19

    I love your recipes

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 23

      Gracias Lourdes!

  3. Celia

    Aug 18

    El agua de jamaica es mi favorites.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 23

      Si Celia, es deliciosa 😉

  4. Gerardo haro

    Aug 18

    I love your style

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 23

      Gracias Gerardo!

  5. Kenna

    Jul 04

    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.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 04

      Oh enjoy them, Kenna!

  6. Anonymous

    Jan 13

    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.

    1. Pati

      Jan 16

      Oh hibiscus flowers are beautiful! But the dried flowers are used in cooking…

  7. Kenna morton

    Oct 10

    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.

    1. Pati

      Oct 12

      I’m glad you enjoy it Kenna!

  8. Lois Munson

    Jan 18

    I missed the recipe for the hibiscus flower cookies and am having no luck finding it here. HELP!

    1. Patricia Chairez

      Mar 13

      I had the same problem so i googled it. took me to another of her websites. Here is the link,
      https://patyhinich.com/recipe/chocolate-cookies-with-hibiscus-flowers/

      1. Pati

        Mar 13

        Thank you Patricia! Louis, I hope you like the cookies!

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