Originally Posted by Crazy8
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.
OK, so let me TRY to chime in.
As a few people have noted, The Jamaican (aka Honduran) Sarsaparilla is the plant Smilax regelii
, also seen as Smilax ornata
The Mexican Sarsaparilla is Smilax aristolochiaefolia
, a plant of the same genus and family as the Jamaican variety
Indian Sarsaparilla, however, is from an unrelated plant: Hemidesmus indicus
, also known as False Sarsaparilla. However, it is often used as a (less expensive) substitute for the other varieties, as it is widespread in India, and cheap to produce.
Personally, I have only used the Indian variety (only one I can readily get my hands on) . . . so I can't talk about difference in flavors. But East Coast friends of mine tell me the flavors are incredibly similar across all 3 . . . at least when it comes to making root beers. They PREFER the Jamaican, as they say it isn't QUITE as earthy as the Indian . . . but that could be just them . . .