Urban Platter Japanese Pickled Umeboshi Plums, 100g
Sour, salty and chockfull of health benefits, umeboshi plums have been a staple in Japanese cuisine for centuries. Also known as the “sour plum,” “Japanese apricot” and “Japanese plum,” the umeboshi plum is made from dried and pickled ume fruit, a type of fruit closely related to the apricot.
Umeboshi are round and wrinkled with a distinctly sour taste thanks to their high content of citric acid. In fact, ume fruit are harvested at the end of June, right when their juice has reached peak acidity. Because of their intense flavor, umeboshi is typically combined with white rice and consumed as a side dish or inside a rice ball.
What Makes Umeboshi Plums So Alluring?
Given their salty taste, umeboshi plums are most commonly served on a bed of plain white rice, but they do far more than provide a contrast to its simple sweetness; they also add a special tang to surrounding ingredients and are therefore often used in small quantities to flavor myriad Japanese dishes.
Of course, taste is only part of the allure. Given their acclaimed qualities as natural preservatives, not to mention a purported ability to help fight fatigue, it’s no surprise that Japanese of all ages continue the Showa Era (1926-1989) practice of putting umeboshi plums inside their daily bento boxes. Many Japanese people still strongly believe in the health benefits of this Japanese pickle, some going so far as to eat at least one every day. Let’s consider whether doing so will actually keep the doctor away.