Pretty sure many of you have seen or tried a hibiscus-infused drink from your favorite local resto, but have you tried eating quesadillas with hibiscus?

Adriana Almazan Lahl found refuge in San Francisco as a chef after escaping from Mexico because of the inequality and discrimination among men and women which she considers the “ghosts” of her family. In her published cookbook, Lahl uses hibiscus as a meat replacement for quesadillas.

Hibiscus (roselle, red sorrel, sour-sour, flor de jamaica, or gumamela in the Philippines) is proven to have many uses in different cuisines. It is known to have high pectin content, which favors jelly makers, and is also a health buff’s favorite as a source of phenolic antioxidants and vitamin C.

According to Lahl, before colonization, Mexican cooking was mostly vegetarian that is why using flowers in the cuisine is not new. At home, Lahl soaks hibiscus in warm water and strains it after five minutes to take off grit and sand completely. She sautees it then tucks it inside crisp flour tortillas together with onions, serrano chiles, and cheese (any kind of cheese that melts well will do); and after a few flips, your hibiscus quesadilla is good to go! Lahl said that people are usually surprised at how good hibiscus can be because people usually just throws it in garbage.

Would you want to experience flower power instead of pork? Go and prepare your own hibiscus quesadilla today!

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