Sorrel is a green leaf vegetable native to Europe. It is also called common sorrel or spinach dock, and is actually considered less a vegetable and more an herb in some cultures. In appearance sorrel greatly resembles spinach and in taste sorrel can range from comparable to the kiwifruit in young leaves, to a more acidic tasting older leaf. As sorrel ages it tends to grow more acidic due to the presence of oxalic acid, which actually gets stronger and tastes more prominent.
Young sorrel may be harvested to use in salads, soups or stews. If you are planning on using sorrel in salads, it’s a good idea to stick with small tender leaves that have the fruitier and less acidic taste. Young sorrel leaves are also excellent when lightly cooked, similar to the taste of cooked chard or spinach. For soups and stews, older sorrel can be used because it adds tang and flavor to the dish.
Throughout the Caribbean you can find deep red sorrel, which is not a close relative to European sorrel. Unlike European sorrel, it is an annual plant instead of a perennial. It does have a similar acidic taste and is favored in drinks, jellies, and sometimes in tarts.