Pagès has chosen to incorporate Rooibos in several of its creations. This shrub native to South Africa has sweet, nutty notes that are very pleasant to taste.
Rooibos, an African plant which virtues are no longer to be proven and which taste rhymes with fullness and comfort.
Origins of rooibos
Rooibos is said to originate from Africa. It is more precisely in the south of the country that this deep red drink is found. It is in the mountains of the Cape region that the most Rooibos are found in Africa. The plant has never been able to be planted in another region of Africa nor in another country. It is in fact a very specific variety of Broom that grows only in the Cederberg Mountains, in the Cape Town region of South Africa. Rooibos is a capricious plant that has not survived the many attempts to plant it elsewhere than in its original environment. It should be noted that this shrub is not the only one to be very selective as to where it lives, it is also the case of the Argan tree, which grows only in Morocco.
The term "Rooibos" would come from Afrikaans and would mean "reddish bush". This is probably why it is wrongly called "red tea" in Occident. Rooibos has long been known in Europe as "red tea". This name, although it is representative of the colour of Rooibos, is false. Indeed, Rooibos does not contain theine, so it is preferable not to associate it with tea. The only existing red tea is the one found in China, the country of origin of tea in general, and which residents call "Pu Erh".
Characteristics of rooibos
Name: Aspalathus linearis
Species: Perennial shrub
This shrub, belonging to the same family as the Brooms, is an endemic species that has been used for centuries by the natives.
There are several varieties of Rooibos. It should be noted that Rooibos is not the same plant as Honeybush, although they come from the same family. If Honeybush has no caffeine, like Rooibos, it nevertheless releases a taste very different from its cousin. Honeybush is also a plant native to Africa, which many people used more than three centuries ago and still use to make miraculous drinks. It can undoubtedly be said that Rooibos and Honeybush compete with each other as a beneficial drink in their country of origin!
It is also important not to confuse red Rooibos with green Rooibos, which is actually the same variety but not fermented. The green Rooibos is only dried. It is said that the redder the Rooibos, the better it is.
Uses of rooibos
This shrub is of course mainly used to make the famous Rooibos drink. A blend of Rooibos, milk, Vanilla or Lemon and sugar, this drink, which comes straight from Africa, is renowned for its gourmet flavours and beneficial properties. In Occident, there is a tendency to make a sugar-free Rooibos drink, with its hazelnut-like flavours already giving a slightly sweet taste. This drink is both delicious and synonymous with well-being. It can be drunk hot or cold.
Like tea, Rooibos can be drunk with dried fruits, such as Strawberry or Kiwifruit for example, which once dried are incorporated into the blend to give it even more taste and fullness. Some people prefer to enhance Rooibos with spices, to give it a little more pep and originality.
Benefits of rooibos
Rooibos is known for its beneficial properties on the digestive and cardiovascular system. It is readily attributed with many virtues, such as those of being able to fight against asthma, insomnia, colic or eczema. Some specialists even go so far as to consume it during pregnancy, its digestive and relaxing capacities classifying it as a plant beneficial to the expectant mother. Let's not forget that Rooibos is a plant and can't be a substitute to some treatments.
Rooibos is also often referred to as an antioxidant. We often hear Rooibos, unlike other plants, that it can be consumed without moderation!