At the Ethnic Market highlights international specialty foods and ingredients that you're very unlikely to find at your local Gristedes.

What you see before is bag of dried hibiscus flowers, or karkade, as these dried little blossoms are known in Egypt. You can boil them up to make a wonderfully red-hued tea that's packed with plenty of vitamin C. As you can probably guess from the image on the packaging it's sometimes served hot in the Middle East and is used to toast weddings in Sudan and Egypt. Karkade can also be made into a refreshing iced tea. If you've ever had agua de jamaica at a taqueria you've been drinking the Mexican version of karkade. Need a recipe? Oddly enough there's one on this Thai food blog.

In Thai, hibiscus tea is known as cha ka jeape. Be sure to add the specified amount of sugar as the tea is incredibly tart. Supposedly karkade is served unsweetened in Turkey, but it's hard to imagine downing this stuff without plenty of sugar. We found our karkade at Sahaba Food Corp., an Arab market on a forlorn stretch of Bath Beach Ave. in Bensonhurst. In case you're not up for an outer borough adventure, it's also available at Kalyustan's.

Sahaba Food Corp., 1947 Bath Beach Ave., Bensonhurst, 718-234-3547
Kalyustan's, 123 Lexington Ave., 212-685-3451