The flowering shrub, Hibiscus Sabdariffa, is also called Roselle, Guinea sorrel, Abyssinian pink tea or Bissap, depending on the region where it is grown. It grows in the hot tropical regions of Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia, and has acclimated very well to the Kampot region of Cambodia. We chose to grow a variety with small pink flowers, which reveal beautiful scarlet calyxes. Hibiscus is grown organically at La Plantation, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
How to harvest hibiscus calyxes
The seeds contained in the calyxes are also harvested and replanted every year. Indeed, the hibiscus is an annual shrub that lives only a few months.
Commonly called hibiscus flower, it is actually the calyx of the hibiscus flower that is edible. The role of the Hibiscus Calyx is to protect the bud, then the hibiscus flower. When the latter fades, the calyx remains attached to the plant and takes a beautiful bright red color. It is then time to pick the Hibiscus Calyxes.
The seeds are germinated before the rainy season, then planted in the ground. The shrub will quickly grow to a height of about two meters. At the end of the rainy season, the pink flowers appear then after a few days wither to leave the place to the calyx. This one develops then and takes a beautiful scarlet color. The manual harvest can then start in December in a selective way to collect only the calyxes at full maturity. This harvest lasts approximately one month, the time to let the calyxes reach their maturity.
In the dry season, the shrubs are then pulled out and the ground is enriched by a natural green manure until the next plantation.
The delicate preparation of Hibiscus calyxes
Each calyx is meticulously harvested by hand. Our selection team separates the petals of the calyx from the core full of seeds, located in the center of the calyx. The calyxes are immediately dehydrated at low temperature to preserve their exceptional bright red color and their organoleptic qualities. The dried calyxes are offered in whole version for infusions or also in fine powder version to be easily used in cooking.
The Hibiscus Chalice reveals tangy and fruity notes
With marked acidulous notes close to rhubarb, the hibiscus chalices develop a fruity flavor (red fruits). They blend perfectly with red fruits such as raspberries or cherries and add a touch of acidity.
Hibiscus drinks are very refreshing and if you like the tangy sensation, do not add sugar. This way you will get all the health benefits of hibiscus.
How to cook with hibiscus powder
The strong coloring power of hibiscus powder makes it the ideal partner for your desserts. Hibiscus powder is your new 'pink matcha' that you can use in all your preparations. For example: panna cotta, crème brûlée, whipped cream, meringue, rice pudding or hibiscus frosting that will take on a beautiful and original pink color.
By adding hibiscus powder to your financier, muffin, cake, sponge cake, chiffon cake, you will add a touch of acidity and red fruits to your cakes. Surprise your children by adding a spoonful of hibiscus powder in your pancake or waffle batter or in your compotes and red fruit salads. Hibiscus powder balances the sweetness of a raspberry or cherry coulis.
Hibiscus powder is perfect to use in ice creams, jellies or jams and chocolate makers are also starting to discover hibiscus in combination with cocoa.
But in a more surprising way, it can be used in a fish papillote, on a salmon gravlax or in a risotto and it goes deliciously with duck.
With hibiscus powder, you can also make a Bissap (West African drink) in record time. Simply mix the hibiscus powder with water and add the desired amount of sugar and some mint leaves or syrup. Filter the drink and keep it in a cool place.
Once opened, to preserve the beautiful color and aroma of the Hibiscus powder, it is important to keep it in a cool and dry place, away from light and humidity. You can pour the contents of the packet into the food-grade cardboard tube for later use.
Kampot - Cambodia
100 % Hibiscus calyxes
Fruity and sour
Desserts, fruits, cakes, pancakes, meringues, jellies, jams, ice creams, drinks, red fruit juices and coulis, fish, rice
Store in a cool, dry place away from light and moisture