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Old 06-13-2013, 01:45 AM   #1
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Default Differences in sarsaparilla root

So Im looking at getting my Sarsaparilla root from a different (cheaper) source than my usual. I noticed though that this new source carries. "Jamaican" Sarsaparilla root in addition to the usual "Indian" root. Now from my other supplier, I think its the Indian I was getting, but what will be the differences between these two? Does anyone know if one will taste better than the other? Is one going to be rastafarian and the other not? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-01-2013, 04:30 PM   #2
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Wow 88 views and nobody knows this huh? I kind of figured this would be a tough one to answer. I couldn't find anything using Google either. I thought Google knew everything. Well Im still open for suggestions or possible answers to this if anyone knows.

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Old 07-01-2013, 04:36 PM   #3
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Sasparilla was traditionally made from sassafras roots harvested in the states I thought.

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Old 07-01-2013, 04:52 PM   #4
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Well that seems like a logical conclusion I think. But then that still begs to question, why Mexican, why Indian, and why Jamaican? What are the differences in flavor, if any? I suppose as far as "state bound" sarsaparilla root it seems logical that it may not have been a native plant originally but that came from the stuff in Mexico? I dunno just guessing here.

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Old 07-01-2013, 05:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forstmeister View Post
Sasparilla was traditionally made from sassafras roots harvested in the states I thought.
Dig mine up all over my property here in Arkansas.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:09 PM   #6
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Dig mine up all over my property here in Arkansas.
Wish I had that option. Maybe Ill buy from you...lol I was looking into trying to grow some but not sure if it will survive minnesota winters or if its something I can put in a large pot and bring into the house over winter. I tried finding pictures of this stuff but nothing that gives me any idea of the size.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy8
Wish I had that option. Maybe Ill buy from you...lol I was looking into trying to grow some but not sure if it will survive minnesota winters or if its something I can put in a large pot and bring into the house over winter. I tried finding pictures of this stuff but nothing that gives me any idea of the size.
Unfortunately sassafras doesn't really live that far north. Time to start looking around online for some roots.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Wish I had that option. Maybe Ill buy from you...lol I was looking into trying to grow some but not sure if it will survive minnesota winters or if its something I can put in a large pot and bring into the house over winter. I tried finding pictures of this stuff but nothing that gives me any idea of the size.
I can try to mail ya a sapling if you wanna try to grow it but hat far north I wouldn't have high hopes unless you bought it in for winter. Round these parts it grows to a full sized tree, not something I'd suggest being a house plant.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:03 PM   #9
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Sarsaparilla root and sassafras root are different and the plants they come from are even more so. I'm not sure how this went from, "I've thought about growing sarsaparilla" to "I'll send you a sassafras sapling".

Sarsaparilla (Similax) is a vine whereas sassafras is a tree. Mexican and Jamaican Sarsaparilla are of the same genus, however Indian is not. It's more of a shrub. Flavors are similar and all can be used in place of one another, but there are subtle differences. I'm not sure which one I have on hand right now, but it has a bit of an aroma similar to vanilla with a bitter flavor similar to cinnamon without the heat. Varieties (again, not sure which ones) I've had in the past were not as strong on the vanilla aroma.

Sassafras is more of a slightly bitter and sweet flavor with an astringent/tingly/numbing mouthfeel like yarrow but less pronounced.

That doesn't answer your question at all, does it? Best advice is to get all of them and see which you like best if you're concerned about flavor. If all you worry about is price right now, just get the cheapest and if it ruins your beverage switch back to what you had.

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Old 07-02-2013, 01:07 PM   #10
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Eh, I'm a forester, not some vine expert. I didn't know there was a sarsaparilla plant even. Oh well.

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