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Made from the dried red flowers of Hibiscus sabdariffa, a kind of hibiscus plant, Jus de Bissap (Beesap) seems to be more of a tea than a "juice". It is often called the "national drink of Senegal". Every busy street, train station, bus depot, and stadium will have its bissap vendors selling the drink. The dried flowers can be found in every market. Bissap is equally popular in many neighboring countries of Western Africa: both the flower and the beverage are also known as l'Oseille de Guinée, Guinea sorrel, and Karkadé. In Arabic-speaking countries, such as Egypt and Sudan, they are called Karkaday. The dried flowers are often called dried red sorrel, sorrel, or roselle. village in senegal
- 2 to 3 cups of dried hibiscus flowers (sorrel or roselle)
- 1 to 2 cups of Sugar
- 1 or 2 of the following optional flavorings:
- Briefly rinse the dried flowers in cool water.
- In a saucepan heat two quarts (approximately two litres) of cold water.
- As soon as the water begins to boil, add the dried hibiscus leaves.
- Immediately remove from heat and let the flowers steep for ten minutes.
- Pour the water from the pot into a pitcher using a strainer (lined with a cheesecloth or paper towel if you like) to separate the flowers from the water (be sure not to pour any of the flower sediment into the pitcher)
- Stir in the sugar.
- Add any other flavorings (if desired).
- Add ice and chill completely.
- May be served over ice.
- Serve anytime, and especially with Ceebu Jën or any dish from Western Africa.