What Does Sorrel Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Does Sorrel Taste Like?

Sorrel leaves have a fresh and exuberant taste with prominent lemony flavors. The leaves are known to be tart and slightly bitter and are often used in addition to other herbs and leafy condiments. 

This is a detailed taste guide to what Sorrel tastes like!

My own experience and the expertise of chefs around the world will help you discover this widely used European herb. 

Let’s get started!

What Is Sorrel?

Sorrel is native to the grasslands of Europe, the Mediterranean coasts, Scandinavian coasts, and parts of Central Asia. Sorrel is a species of the Polygonaceae plant family that is also called common sorrel or garden sorrel.

It is usually cultivated as a leaf vegetable or herb.

Sorrel leaves can also grow well in poor-quality soil. Sorrel has several distinct uses in culinary for its sharp, sour taste.

What Does Sorrel Taste Like?

Sorrel has a tart and acidic taste that can sometimes be slightly bitter if eaten raw. Young sorrel leaves have a fruity and tangy flavor which is retained when cooked. It adds a bright and sharp taste to the platters it is added to and can also be used as an herb garnish. 

 In Southern Asia, the leaves are used in soups or curries.

In Eastern Europe, the leaves are used to make a sour soup or with meats and a variety of vegetables.

The French use it to make a special fish platter wherein the acidity from the leaves dissolves soft bones.

What Is The Texture Of Sorrel?

Sorrel has a delicate and smooth texture. When eaten raw in a salad or as a soup garnish, sorrel leaves are not very crunchy but provide the meal with a unique texture. Once cooked, the leaves lose both their bright color and texture becoming darker and frail. 

Its texture can be compared to that of spinach and parsley.

How Much Sorrel Consumption Is Safe?

Balanced consumption of Sorrel is crucial to avoid any side effects. This balance is attained when a small bunch of leaves is added to the whole platter. Since the leaves have a strong tart taste, not a lot is required to zest up your meal.

It is recommended to cook the sorrel leaves instead of consuming them raw if you plan on adding more than a handful.

Can You Eat Sorrel Raw?

Yes, sorrel leaves are entirely safe for raw consumption in controlled amounts. Many salads, soups, cold slaws, and garnishes include raw and chopped-up sorrel leaves for their fresh and tart flavor. 

Raw sorrel leaves have higher acidic content than when cooked, and you need to be careful when consuming more than the recommended amount.

Is Sorrel The Same As Spinach?

Spinach and Sorrel are two different leaves even though they are from the same plant family and have similar appearances. Raw sorrel leaves have a sour and acidic taste while raw spinach leaves have a sweet and mild flavor.

When comparing the two, sorrel has higher vitamin C, A, B6, iron, calcium, and potassium than spinach leaves which have more calories.

Is Sorrel Toxic?

No, sorrel is not a toxic or poisonous plant when its leaves are consumed in controlled amounts. The leaves are known for their acidic nature and are rich in oxalic acid or oxalate which can be toxic and thus should not be consumed in large amounts.

This oxalic acid is more in fresh leaves than when they are cooked. Large amounts of raw leaves can cause gastric ulcers and kidney stones.

Is Red Sorrel Edible?

Red Sorrel is a variation on the regular garden sorrel and is just as edible. Red sorrel has the same acidic and citrusy taste as any other type of sorrel and is used in the same ways that the others are. The raw leaves should not be consumed in large amounts. 

Red sorrel is usually used as a garnish on soups, salads, and slaws, and can also be finely chopped to use in dips.

What Is The Difference Between Sorrel And Hibiscus?

Sorrel and Hibiscus are two entirely different plants that do not look anything like each other. Sorrel is bright green while hibiscus flowers have a bright red hue. However, both have a tart and acidic flavor and can be used interchangeably in very few meals.

Hibiscus adds a tart flavor and its bright red color to platters and beverages that cannot be replaced by the green sorrel leaves.

What Does Sorrel Soup Taste Like?

Sorrel leaves are used in many classic soups around the world and one of the most widely known ones is the Polish Szczawiowa soup. It is a tangy, light, and refreshing summer soup made with fresh sorrel leaves, fresh spinach, chicken stock, onion, butter, and other required condiments.

This acidity from the sorrel gives the soup its zesty flavor. The soup is traditionally served with one boiled egg, bacon strips, and optional thyme.

What Tastes Best With Sorrel?

Sorrel leaves can be utilized in many meals and platters. They are most often used to add extra zest and texture to any regular leafy salad with other greens like spinach, cabbage, parsley, and thyme. 

Sorrel can also be incorporated into Korean BBQ wraps with meat, salmon, and herb butter, and lastly in Ricotta Dumplings with Chèvre and other herbs.

So, interested in Sorel? Why not grow in your backyard? Morag Gamble tells why it’s a great herb to grow –

In The End

I hope this elaborate taste journey of Sorrel helped you learn about its taste. 

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About Tammy J

Tammy is currently studying in college. While attending, she has broadened her horizons by experimenting with food from all over the world, but she has a special love for Mexican and Indian cuisine. She loves traveling with her friends, and enjoys nothing more than packing up a few backpacks and hitting the open road to explore natural beauty.

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