Hibicus sabdariffa L

“IN TRUE CUXÁ, roselle reminds us that life is sometimes sour, but without this acidic seasoning, it cannot be lived,” wrote Odylo Costa Jr., in his Cozinha do arco-da-velha (Unbelievable Cooking Traditions), about Arroz de cuxá. The most emblematic dish of Maranhão combines the fruit and leaves of this plant with rice, fresh and dried shrimp, okra, and sesame seeds. Chopped, the leaves impart a natural acidity to recipes and can be used instead of lime. The sepals that surround the fruit of this plant of the hibiscus family are dried and used to make tea.