Rosella jam

Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a species of hibiscus native to the tropics of the northern hemisphere. It is well known especially in the West Indies and Southern Asia. Early traders – prior to European settlement – are thought to have brought rosella plants from Asia to northern Queensland where they naturalised and spread south into northern New South Wales because they were so easy to grow.
Many of the cultures in Southern Asia make it into drinks, jellies and compotes and in Queensland, rosellas were an important part of the daily diet of children. Traditionally rosellas were made into a jam that was used as a topping, usually on toasted bread, but also on cold roasted meats. Its taste is quite tart, despite the quantity of sugar that is added. It has a distinctive dark rosy colour. There are early colonial Australian recipes using rosella jam in cakes and puddings.
Once found in many home and country gardens in Queensland, the fruit is found less and less commonly. When in season, very small amounts of rosella jam can be found at community markets or sold during fundraisers. The jam is time consuming to make, and so it is not widely commercially available. Even production for home use is decreasing due to the labour involved and the gradual disappearance of the once-common fruiting plant.

Posted in .