SORREL (Rumex acetosa)
It is a perennial herb that is cultivated as a garden herb or leaf vegetable (pot herb). Other names for sorrel include spinach dock and narrow-leaved dock.
Common sorrel has been cultivated for centuries. The leaves may be puréed in soups and sauces or added to salads; they have a flavour that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. The plant’s sharp taste is due to oxalic acid, which is a poison. In small quantities sorrel is harmless; in large quantities it can be fatal.
In northern Nigeria, sorrel is known as yakuwa or sure (pronounced suuray) in Hausa or karassu in Kanuri. It is also used in stews usually in addition to spinach. In some Hausa communities, it is steamed and made into salad using kuli-kuli (traditional roasted peanut cakes with oil extracted), salt, pepper, onion and tomatoes. The recipe varies according to different levels of household income. A drink called solo is made from a decoction of the plant calyx.
In Romania, wild or garden sorrel, known as măcriş or ştevie, is used to make sour soups, stewed with spinach, added fresh to lettuce and spinach in salads or over open sandwiches.
In Russia and Ukraine it is called shchavel’ (щавель) and is used to make soup called shav. It is used as a soup ingredient in other countries, too (e.g., Lithuania, where it is known as rūgštynė).
In Hungary this is known as sóska [ pronounced Shoshka]. It is called kuzu kulağı (“lamb’s ear”) in Turkish. In Polish it is called szczaw (pronounced /ʂʈʂaf/).
Among Northern Sami it is known as juopmu and was traditionally added to reindeer milk as a flavoring and preservative.
In parts of Belgium it is served mixed with mashed potatoes, or as part of a traditional dish containing eel and other green herbs.
In rural Greece it is used with spinach, leeks, and chard in spanakopita.
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