I’ve decided to kick off our blog by talking about this incredible fruit I had on my trip to Japan – umeboshi Plum!
Pickled umeboshi plum is made from the Ume fruit. These young sour fruits are picked in July and are then fermented and soaked in vinegar, to bring us the insanely sour and salty pickle. It is honestly, very difficult to eat by itself and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you like to assault your taste buds to keep them on their toes.
(Photo caption - Ume – a cross between an apricot and a plum)
These salty-sweet plums are additionally thought to have strong restorative properties from giving samurai warriors an additional jolt of energy for battling, combatting aftereffects, and by and large helping to fight off sickness.
How to eat Umeboshi
Check out our latest Video Compilation on YouTube about the sourest pickle in the world, the Umeboshi.
Pickled Umeboshi plum can be consumed whole or in paste form.
Due to the extreme sour nature of the pickle, it is traditionally enjoyed with plain steamed rice to balance out the flavour.
They are also commonly used as a condiment in many Japanese dishes to provide a welcome sharp taste to compliment the other, usually more dull tastes. They're an exciting addition to bento boxes and often eaten as the centre of Onigiri rice balls. After its introduction to America, Umeboshi paste has also been increasingly used as a salad dressing to add that extra tangy flavour.
An Umeboshi a Day…
The Far Eastern equivalent to Apple – not only is Umeboshi pickled plum a potent hangover remedy, moreover, it is regarded as having remarkable medicinal qualities.
The Japanese began trying to reap the health benefits of the Umeboshi Pickled Plum almost 200 years ago. In this process, Bainiku ekisu – plum extract was developed. It is a dark liquid made when sour green ume plums are turned into a reduction by cooking them slowly and reducing its most active ingredients into a concentrated form. Bainiku Ekisu is usually had with hot water and honey – like a tonic. This plum extract is also formed into pills, called meitan. Both these by-products of the plum are very high in citric acid - over ten times more than lemon juice.
Tip – Let the Hangover Go
Umeboshi is considered to be an excellent cure for hangovers. All you have to do is – Brave the oncoming attack on your taste buds and pop a piece of the plum into your mouth. The sourness and the saltiness kick your senses back into attention zone.
Many natural healers around the world feel that these concentrated forms of Japanese plums are among the world's most effective natural medicines. But this tip was all you needed to know.