Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The sour taste of sorrel (Rumex acetosa) is due to the presence of oxalic acid in the plant. In high concentrations, oxalic acid is toxic and can be fatally poisonous, although it would almost be impossible to eat enough sorrel to receive a toxic dose. Spinach also contains oxalic acid, though in a lesser quantity than sorrel. The only food plant that has dangerously high concentrations of this acid is rhubarb and in rhubarb oxalic acid is only found in the leaves of the plant, which are not normally eaten. Rhubarb stalks do not contain the acid. Black tea also has oxalic acid in low concentrations.
In the next post, Flavors of Brazil will publish a Brazilian recipe for grilled salmon with a sorrel sauce.