Roselle 洛神花

Hibiscus refers to a large genus of 200 to 220 species of flowering plants belonging to the mallow family. Members of this family include cocoa, cotton, okra, baobab, and durian.
Hibiscus is grown for its strong fibers in its bark. The fibers are obtained by letting the stripped bark sit in the sea to let the organic matter rot away. The fiber can be used to make grass skirts in Polynesia, make wigs, and burlap in place of jute. The leaves are eaten like spinach in savoury dishes. While the flowers, particularly that of Roselle – one of many species of hibiscus – is specially cultivated for its edible external portion of its flowers. The external portion of the flower is called the calyx. It is the maroon coloured, rubbery base of the blossom, available in the market fresh and dried. The tart flavour of roselle calyces requires a sweetener to balance out the flavours to make jams and preserves, wine, or steeped whole to make tea. The tart juices can also be used to cut the richness in sweet and creamy desserts like cheesecake and ice-cream, and a concentrated juice makes a natural food dye. Roselle is also prized for its effects to reduce the absorption of alcohol, as a hangover remedy, a diuretic, and a mild laxative.

用洛神花泡個茶怎麼樣?這些一顆顆好像紅寶石的花萼在每年收成的日子就會開遍山頭。農人小心用刀一顆一顆割下,還要把種子取出才賣到廠商的手裡,種子留下繼續種植,自己留下一部份花萼用來泡茶或者製蜜餞,生吃熟吃都沒有關係,因為有機耕作就是要為手到拿來一口咬下去,水洗的功夫都省掉啦。這些紅寶石在台灣只有百多年歷史不算很長,但是在祖家印度於14世紀已開始傳入英國,後來人們開始廣泛使用,又作調味品啦又泡茶等等。如果不小心把這些比口紅還要艷紅的花汁弄到衣服上,要清洗可不容易呀。說到名字,洛神花其實跟甚麼神話傳說並沒關聯,此植物名字的由來不過是英文名字Roselle的音譯,與那些感人肺腑的洛神愛情故事並沒有絲毫關係,不過愛泡洛神花的人總被花茶的酸酸甜甜引發起絲絲暖意,有些情懷少女更硬說:「這是戀愛的粉紅色喲。」。