I’ve never given much thought to the black jelly drink the locals call ‘xian chao’ or ‘cincau’ – up until recently anyway. That was when I discovered that it originates from a plant; … which is, I now realise, why some people call it ‘grass jelly’!
My interest was piqued when I found out that there was also a green grass jelly. A friend who was given a bunch of Cyclea Barbata leaves, lost no time in making some green jelly.
“Was it good?” I asked.
He was hesitated for a split second. “Tasted of chlorophyll,” he said. “… and it was a murky green,” obviously not overly impressed either by its taste or appearance.
Yet when the chance came for me to get a plant, I didn’t need to think twice. Mine, however, is the Platostoma palustre which yields the black jelly.
I hope it won’t be long before I start harvesting some Platostoma palustre leaves for the kitchen. For now, the plan is for the plant to grow a bit more since more leaves mean more jelly.
In the meantime I’m reading up on the plant, as well as on the preparation of the jelly. Something tells me that it’s going to be fun experimenting with all the possibilities!
Care and propagation: Full sun, garden soil, water moderately. Propagate using cuttings or seeds.