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The color of Ume plums depends on the time of harvest. When harvested young the plums are light green in color. As the plums ripen, their skin will turn to shades of yellow and red. Ume plums are small, about 1.5-2 inches in diameter. Their taste is extremely acidic and therefore they are rarely eaten raw. When consumed raw they are known to cause stomach aches. In Asian culture Ume plums are known for their sour and bitter aroma and are utilized similarly to the way lemons are used in western culture.
Ume plums have a very short growing season, ripening in late spring and lasting through the beginning of summer.
Ume plums are the fruit of an Asian tree, Prunus mume. It is a member of the Rosaceae family.
Ume plums contain very few vitamins and minerals. However, because of its acidic nature Asian medicine alleges that it helps with relieving hangovers and stomach issues such as diarrhea and morning sickness.
Ume plums are commonly treated with salt, or made into vinegar and jam. Asian cuisines often use Ume plums to make a wine known as "Umeshu". The most common way to use the Ume plum is to pickle it with salt, making it into a condiment known as “Umeboshi.” Umeboshi can be used as garnish and to impart a sour taste to rice, pasta, and other dishes. Ume plum vinegar can be used to dress salads, accent light dishes, or pickle red radish, turnip, daikon and Myoga.
Because of their short harvest season, Ume plums are often preserved in pickled form called “Umeboshi”, which is commonly used in Japanese cuisine.
Ume plums originated in mainland China, and were introduced to Japan before the 8th century.
Recipes that include Ume Plums. One is easiest, three is harder.
|No Recipes||Pickled Plum and Calamari Salad (Ume ika somen)|
|No Gluten Recipes||Ume Plum Compote|
|Just One Cookbook||Ume Shiso Pasta 梅しそパスタ|
|Just Hungry||Homemade Umeboshi|
|A Fish Out Of Water||Ume Jam|
People have spotted Ume Plums using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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