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You are viewing blog entries tagged christmas.

From the Tropics: The mysterious romance between Latin Americans and Saril = Jamaica edit

Page_2This year has been an amazing journey and I have already been given so many gifts and am so very, very thankful. The New Year looks busy, as well with trips planned…I will keep you posted on my schedule, promise!

Many, many thanks to everyone for their support. I wish everyone a safe, healthy, and Happy Holiday Season.
Now it is time to share with you a traditional, well loved drink from Latin America…The secret will be yours!

By now you know I am a flower nut, and the hibiscus family is in the top of my list. Can not hide it! So, my goal today is to help you understand that certain flowers are not only for decoration, they could also be in your salad and satiate you thirst with an invigorating, magically sensual brew.

Do I have your attention now

? Good! smile

The names: you know something, I think that you have probably enjoyed this flower already. The list that follows contains many vernacular names that refer to the very same subject of our post today.

Roselle or rozelle, sorrel, red sorrel, saril, Jamaica sorrel, Indian sorrel, sour-sour, Guinea sorrel, Queensland jelly plant, lemon bush, rosa de Jamaica, flor de Jamaica, Jamaica, quimbombó chino, Florida cranberry, oseille rouge, oseille de Guinée, sereni, agrio de Guinea, viña, viñuela, vinagreira, curudú azédo, quiabeiro azédo, zuring, carcadé, bisap, and hibiscus flowers—and there are more!

The nutritional and medicinal properties of the "saril" are widely known in many places of the world. It is most commonly consumed as an iced tea for the warm days, or as a hot tea during the cold months. In many countries of Latin America such as Mexico, Panama, Brazil and Guatemala, the infusion made with the calyxes of the exotic flower, dyes the water with an intense red color and is the most popular summer drink.

How to prepare it:

  • by Chef Melissa
  • December 24, 2008
  • 12:49 am

Happy Holidays with Plenty Love,The Latino Way - Felices Fiestas desde el Trópico Panameño edit

Trop_snow_1_2 There is something about having "Latino blood" in our veins. There is something very special about being born in a Latin American country. My heart has deep roots of love and tears that travel deep,...to the center of our planet Earth. There is a cry of the long gone times that took away many of our traditions and childhood friends. There is a song with perfume of roses, and a thousand butterflies that travel along with the wind in this precious land.

When I was growing up, I used to ask my mom WHY I had freckles in my face. With a smile, every time she said…"you got them from me, and you can not change that…. In the family we all have freckles: we got them from your great great grandmother who came from France." I probably was ten years old or younger when I began questioning about my "turkey-egg-like" freckled face. I tried all the fading creams I could afford with the weekly saving of my daily allowance. None of them worked. Then, one day I woke up and realized I was wasting my time with all that nonsense imaginary war I had started with the freckles of my great great granny. Since that day everything made sense and I loved every sassy little caramel colored shade in my face. I loved my roots.

Too far the Land of Long Ago! BUT the people, the same people who one day came from far away lands and made Panama their home; they have brought gold to our culture. THIS time, I am not talking about "GOLD", the one that holds the atomic number 79. This time I am referring to the kind of "gold" that enriches a culture, the one that in silence shines (...sometimes loud too!) and shares the goodness of many lands in just only one.

This is our country: Welcome to Panama! And now, it is yours too! smile

Tamal4_2 Next you will find a recap of some of the most delicious recipes we traditionaly enjoy during the holiday season. IF you have a special request for the candy, cake or any dish you remember eating while you were growing up in a Latin American country, hey!...this is your lucky day, send Us and email and we will do our best to fulfill your request.

Now the recipes:

We hope you enjoy the beautiful holiday season, with delicious meals featuring food from all over the world (including our recipes, of course!).



God bless you!

Chef Melissa


  • by Chef Melissa
  • December 24, 2010
  • 10:19 am



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