Folere! Folere! Buy ya folere! That’s the call you hear from folere sellers. That is the call you want to hear on a busy market day, with scorching temperatures of about 90 degrees or higher. They come to you, but it’s never unusual to hear people ask where the folere seller was last spotted. This is the ultimate thirst quencher. Sweet with a little tang and typically served chilled .You find vendors mostly in busy markets, bus stops and little stands between towns . Just like the lemonade stand, there is a folere stand.
Some sellers go to the markets early to catch the morning crowd, while others await the midday heat. Plastic bottles filled to the brim seating in ice buckets. Don’t be alarmed if the seller asks you to return the bottle. You can pay a little extra to keep the bottle or bring your own bottle for exchange. Sometimes customers will gulp down a bottle right next to the stand.
At the peak of the dry season, you might want to secure a bottle before you become dehydration and lightheaded on a busy market day. They sell out quick.
At this point you must be wondering how to make this very refreshing drink. It is as simple as abc, for real it is. Some have added unto the original recipe; lemon juice, cinnamon, orange juice and more. All you really need is a pineapple , water, sugar and most importantly dried roselle sepals ,a type of hibiscus . Folere is also known as zobo in Nigeria, bissap in Senegal and sorrell in the Caribbean. So really simple and very affordable to make.
It is tempting to rush the process but you will be missing out on the flavors and that unique folere taste. My recipe started at 8pm the night before and I enjoyed my first ice cold sip about noon the next day. The key to let everything soak for at least 6 hours. Considering we are using pineapple peels, do thoroughly wash before cutting. Though optional , I added a cup of pineapple chunks for good measure. I also find combining the water with the pineapple peel and bringing it to a boil before adding the hibiscus petals help the flavors develop better.
You can make your folere as sweet as you want. Just a simple syrup with sugar and water. It will be an injustice to not share this with friends and family. You just discovered the perfect backyard party drink that is not only delicious and but kid friendly. Summer might be coming to an end but don’t let that stop you. Ice cream shops do open in the winter after all. But if you are one of those people who detest the winter so much you don’t want any summer memories to make things worse, enjoy a warm glass of folere by the fire place. Drink your folere!