What is Black Jelly Grass
Black Jelly also known as "Chao Guai" in Thai, is a famous refreshing dessert and cold drink in the form of sliced jelly cubes mixed with sugar syrup and water and crushed ice or ice cubes. Variations of the water mixture may also include milk, flavourings or other fruit toppings like jackfruit, pineapple, banana, and other fruit.
"Chao Guai" is also known as "jelly grass" in other neighboring Asian countries like China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Singapore, Brunei, Taiwan and Vietnam. The olden folks date back the popularity of " Chao Guai " to the Chinese though it also grew its popularity in Thailand especially these days.
Grass jelly is made by boiling the aged and slightly oxidized stalks and leaves of Mesona chinensis, an herb in the mint family (Lamiaceae). The small twigs and leaves of the grass are boiled in water containing potassium carbonate. After it becomes concentrated the juice is pressed hard and filtered in tiny mesh to remove the mixed particles and in order to squeeze out the juice. This is thought to be the secret of the forming of smooth jelly meat. The juice is cooled into a gelatinous consistency then sliced in desired cubes.
Chao Guai " is consumed as a refreshing drink. It is also canned and sold in Asian markets as " grass jelly " but it is most popular in Thailand as refreshment being sold by street vendors, and also in malls.
Grass jelly is believed to be an herbal food to relieve heartburn, stomach pains, nausea, and indigestion. Its thirst-refreshing taste is also beneficial for health because of its water-soluble fiber (soluble dietary fiber). In the body, water soluble fibers can bind to sugar and fat, so, it is useful to prevent diseases such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and stroke.
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