Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Flavor Profile - Hibiscus Tea

It's called Agua de Flor de Jamaica in the Central and South American countries it's popular in, but when we use it to make sorbetto, we'll let you just call it delicious. Hibiscus tea is made by steeping the dried calyces (no idea how to say that, but they're the leaves that hold the petals together in a hibiscus bud, also called sepals) in hot water, and sweetening it up with a little sugar and that's pretty much how we translated it to a tasty end of summer sorbetto.

It may derive from a beautiful flower, but this ain't no perfumey floral flavor it has going on. Think more of a tart cranberry-like flavor with mild bitterness and a touch of tannin from the tea side.

We're super excited about autumn's arrival, with all of its apples and pears and long neck pumpkins (oh my!) on their way, but gosh darn it we're gonna milk what's left of summer until every last drop of sweet sunshine is in our bellies. That's just how we roll.

I wasn't able to get a real answer from our kitchen aficionados concerning how long this flavor will be around for, but it's here today, and definitely tomorrow, and with any luck some more after that. Pair it up with some fico nero or pesca giallo sorbetti and nom nom nom it up before you go breaking out your sweaters from storage.

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