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Jul 24, 2006 03:14 PM

ISO Dried Hibiscus for Jamaica

My local health food store said they could get it for me. Were going to charge me $20/pound. Sounded a bit outrageous to me, but in the end they weren't able to get it from either of their suppliers anyway. Any idea where I can find it in Manhattan? Preferably at a more reasonable price?


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  1. Don't have a specific Manhattan rec (I live in Bklyn), but any place--supermarket, bodega, whatever--with any West Indian clientele will have it. It's sold alongside the spices in those cellophane packages. It will be labelled "sorrel."

    Also, I think there are a number of Mexican grocers/general stores on 9th/10th Ave. in the 40s. (Of course, it will be labelled "jamaica" there.)

    As for the price from your health food store, it does SOUND crazy, but it might not be: dried flowers don't weigh much of anything, and it doesn't take a lot to make a fairly strong beverage is good quantity.

    Good luck.

    1. I've bought it at Fairway - "Flor de Jamaica" ...

      4 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        Correct, in the Caribbean, its called Sorrel and its labeled as Sorrel by Caribbean packaged goods companies. Its widely sold all over the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn in any store that sells West Indian products. It usually just a couple of bucks for a bag of dried leaves--enough to make a gallon of Sorrel drink. Its not always in Fairway, but it is there much of the time, especially at 125 St. I have seen it sporadically at some Manhattan health food stores, but its expensive compared to the dried caribbean package version.

        1. re: MMRuth

          Asked for it at Fairway just yesterday and was told they didn't have it, but I may well have asked the wrong person. Was this the 74th Street store? Do you recall which section? With the teas? Upstairs with organics?

          1. re: JoanN

            I seem to recall seeing it at the 74th Street store hanging around the end of a produce aisle - near the entrance, along with other "Latin" dried herbs - but, it has been awhile.

            1. re: MMRuth

              I've seen it in the same location @ 125St.

        2. You can get it in Chinese grocery stores or Chinese herb stores. Not expensive at all. I'm assuming this is the dark red flowers that are really really sour?

          1. I have purchased Hibiscus at Kalustyans on Lexington (right by Curry in a Hurry). They have a wonderful selection of herbs, spices, and hard to find international food items. Try not to buy everything in the store. I dare you.

            2 Replies
            1. re: luna88

              Great to know. Kalustyans always comes immediately to mind for anything middle eastern, but it didn't occur to me for something I think of as Latin American. And I see they sell 2 ounces for $3.99, so my health-food store price of $20/pound wasn't all that out of line. Thanks, luna88.

              1. re: JoanN

                that's where I get mine; Kalustyan's

            2. If you don't mind doing mail order, try Mountain Rose Herbs,

              They're selling high-quality dried organic hibiscus flowers from Tanzania for $9/lb. I get mine from there, and they're very tasty, far better than the non-organic hibiscus flowers I used to get for a much higher price at Angelica's in the East Village.