Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rosehip fairy iced tea

 A very dear friend of us lives in Turkey. Last year she and her husband came to visit and they brought us some traditional turkish spices, tea, coffee and treats.
 So far I haven't used them because I still don't know how, but one of the bags smelled very familiar. I thought it was hibiscus, with which we make the classic "Agua de Jamaica" in Mexico. A closer examination of the tag (in turkish) said it was "Kusburnu".
My friends google and wikipedia did the rest. Turns out what I had , dried, in a bag, was not Hibiscus flower, but Rosehip. And I remembered, from my love of those flower fairies illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker, that one of the prettiest was the rosehip fairy.
 So I set to make iced-rosehip tea, much in the same way that I would have prepared a traditional "Agua de Jamaica".

 If you would like to try here is a recipe, from 101 cookbooks, a favorite for vegetarian recipes. Oh and it turns out Rosehip is full of goodness and vitamins:

"Rose hips are particularly high in vitamin C content, one of the richest plant sources available. However, RP-HPLC assays of fresh rose hips and several commercially available products revealed a wide range of L-ascorbic acid content, ranging from 0.03 to 1.3%.[2] Rose hips of some species, especially Rosa canina (Dog Rose) and R. majalis, have been used as a source of vitamin C. During World War II, the people of Britain were encouraged through letters to The Times newspaper, articles in the British Medical Journal, and pamphlets produced by Claire Loewenfeld, a dietitian working for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, to gather wild-grown rose hips and to make a vitamin C syrup for children. This was because German submarines were sinking many commercial ships: citrus fruits from the tropics were very difficult to import. Rose hips contain plenty of lycopene, an important and strong antioxidant, that is an integral part of low density lipoprotein (LDL) as well as of many cellular membranes.[3] Lycopene in rosehips differs greatly in its isomer distribution than in other sources (tomatoes, pink grapefruit).Rose hips also contain some vitamin A and B, essential fatty acids and antioxidant flavonoids. A study of a rose-hip preparation for treating rheumatoid arthritis concluded that there was a benefit, apparently due to both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects.[4]Rose hips are also used to help prevent colds and influenza.[5]

I love the historic references in the above fragment, from the wiki, of course. If you want to see the whole (simple) process, step by step, click here to ... 


  1. I love all kinds of teas and infusions, so I'm pretty sure I would like that. The color at least is beautiful! :) What was the taste like?

  2. @ Ines... I will see if I can send you some. It tastes, acid and sweet and kind of fruity if that makes sense? I love it, specially cold, it is very fresh. I am sure you can find some in bags as well, I know Twinings has a version.

  3. I think it makes sense, yes. :) I'm curious, I'll look for it.


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