Foodies, Meet Your New Obsession: Rooibos Tea

South African import has lots of buzz and the requisite health claims
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2011 1:10 PM CDT
Rooibos tea from South Africa is catching on.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Move over quinoa and acai berry. The next big thing in the culinary world just might be rooibos (roy-boss) tea. "It's a robust herbal tisane (not technically a tea), and its flavor has an almost tobacco-like, nutty quality," writes Jessica Grose at Slate. Full of antioxidants, the rooibos bush has been reported to cure everything from skin conditions to stomach cramps to cancer. Of course, there’s little by way of science to back up these claims, "but science rarely gets in the way of trends," writes Grose.

Rooibos is grown solely in a mountain region north of Cape Town, South Africa, and first reached American consumers in the early 2000’s. It's riding on the general surge in popularity of tea among aging boomers, and Grose predicts the buzz will only get stronger. The trendy food after that? "My vote has to go to the durian, the 'potent-smelling' fruit from Southeast Asia."

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