Cola acumilata with hibiscus, strawberry, lime and rhubarb
‘He who brings Kola, brings life’
this seed from a West African rainforest is the conducting rod of all social interaction and, shared, is a symbol of acceptance, of belonging and the point where a stranger becomes a friend. Encounter it blind, without knowledge of its ritual significance, and its token-like properties are inescapable. There’s something to be said for keeping that intact as much as possible, in recipes that foreground the preparation and its parts as much as the finished result. Kola has had a marked stimulating effect on the human consciousness. Stimulant to the central nervous system, anti depressive, astringent and diuretic. It is used when there is a need for direct stimulation. It will aid in states of depression and may in some people give rise to euphoric states. It increases alertness and muscular strength, counters lethargy, and has in some cases been used as an antidepressant. Unlike leafy stimulants, Kola’s effects feel more physical. Its energy comes from behind, like a wind pushing you to move your re energised limbs
The multi faced and colourful Cola Accumilata is more grassy than the nitida, its very clean fresh flavour is crisp and dries the tongue. It has a sweet, rose-like smell that is astringent & bitter-sweet to the taste a bit like a fresh dandelion root but then it also tastes quite calcareous/chalky. As a note of caution the teeth, lips and gums of the person chewing those cola nuts will turn orange.
1 pink kola nut (about 10g)
250 ml of water
30 g of white cane sugar
1 lime (for juice and zest )
10 g of peeled raw ginger
5 g or a small handful of dried hibiscus petals
5 g or a small handful of rose petals
150 g of pink rhubarb (1/3 of a big stalk)
125 g or 8 strawberries
Have your ingredients in front of you to start making the recipe.
Zest the lime into your mortar and add the sugar, this will be your lime “oleo saccharum”. Crush with the pestle to form a paste.
Grate or dice the rhubarb stalk, and peeled ginger and add to the lime “oleo saccharum”.
Crush to a paste.
Follow it up by adding the strawberries and crush to a pulp.
Add this pulp to a bowl and add the fresh rose petals and lime juice.
Let it rest and marinate together.
Boil a cup of spring water.
Grate the fresh kola nut into the boiling water. (be quick as the kola nut will oxidize very quickly).
Boil it for a minute. Switch off the heat. Add the dried hibiscus petals, let it infuse and cool down.
Add to this the fruit and flower mixture.
Check for desired sweetness. If needed add more sugar or honey.
Ideally leave overnight in fridge or for at least a few hours.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve. And pour into glasses with lots of ice.
Adjust acidity with more lime juice