I’ve been on this sort of kick with plums lately. Specifically, sour plums, a la umeboshi and umezuke.
After badgering a Japanese friend about where to get umeboshi (thank you, Hiro), I made my way to a recommended shop in Soho to get my ume fix.
After the initial dazzlement that normally occurs when faced with new foods (and some familiar foods), I bought a container of umezuke. It was pretty expensive, but since you only need one umezuke to flavour a small container of rice, I’m still going through the package I bought. It’s an easy lunch now that I have my rice cooker of having rice and umezuke in the middle (like the Japanese flag). I bring it into work often.
Recently, I went back to the Japanese grocery shop and found another sour plum item that got me quite excited.
When I was a kid growing up in Japan, I loved this candy because of its sweet-sour nature. I didn’t know the name of it until I just now looked it up on the internet, where this site reveals it as Koume plum candies. On a side note, compare the price on the website online with the price I paid for it at the shop. *Sigh*
But, alas, my dream of reliving this childhood experience came to a halt when I read the back of the package and found there was gelatin in the candy. I have a rule of avoiding gelatin whenever possible, and the fact that this candy is made with it breaks my wee heart.
Aw… Sometimes you just can’t go home again, in a sense.
If you’d like to read up more about what umeboshi is, the Wikipedia article is very good, and has photos so you can see what I’m talking about, since I’ve neglected to put up pictures on my end.