Monday, November 23, 2009

Flower power

Hibiscus is blossoming - not only for its healthful reputation as a food and drink ingredient, but for the dried flower's cheery red color and its wonderful flavor that has made it a staple in cuisines around the world.

According to the Nation's Restaurant News, hibiscus has caught on fire with American chefs. "I've used it hundreds of times over the years," says Joshua Skenes, the 29-year-old chef of Saison restaurant in San Francisco, who most recently offered a hibiscus granité. Before that he prepared a hibiscus-seasoned squab.

Hibiscus, which is most commonly (and economically) found in Mexican food groceries under its Spanish name, jamaica, is often brewed as a tea, but the infusion can be used in place of fruit juices or made into a syrup.

Here is the nutritional information on the ingredient, courtesy of


Jamaica Flowers 1 cup

Calories 28

Total fat (g) 0.365

Potassium (mg) 118.560

Calcium (ng) 122.550

Protein (g) 0.547

Carbohydrate (g) 6.447

Cholesterol (mg) 0

Sodium (mg) 3.420

Vitamin C (mg) 6.840

Vitamin A (IU) 163.590

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