Archive for March, 2010

Here A Yu, There A Zu, Everywhere a Yuzu (clearly the author lives with toddlers!)

Posted in Fancy Food Show, marmalades with tags , on March 2, 2010 by massapeel

Have you ever experienced this phenomenon:  you’ve never heard of something, and then once you learn of it, you see it everywhere?  For example (and I don’t think that I am unique in this regard), pre-law school, I floated through life relatively peacefully and oblivious to the torts and other legal issues lurking around every corner.  Fast forward to present-day:  I cannot even invite the neighborhood children to delight in the amazing homemade luge run that my husband and friends created down our 1-acre wooded hill of a back yard without joking that to their parents that they are going to have to sign a consent form and release absolving us from any liability in the event of an accident!  Seriously – that luge  is precisely what attorneys would label an “attractive nuisance” (remember that Cardozo opinion?)

OK, so perhaps my and my fellow attorneys’ legal minds which see lawsuits in all daily interactions is a tad extreme.  So, indulge me in a more pedestrian example:  Yuzu.  Although, I can’t in good conscience write yuzu and pedestrian in the same sentence with a straight face!

basket of yuzu fruit

Seriously, though… focusing on the topic du jour…  yuzu is commonly referred to as the Japanese grapefruit.  It slightly resembles a small wrinkly grapefruit in appearance.  According to descriptions that I’ve found on the internet, the yuzu is tart – similar to the grapefruit – but with mandarin orange overtones.  Clearly I have not had the privilege of eating this fruit.  But, I shan’t feel deprived…  apparently, the yuzu is rarely eaten as a straight fruit.  Rather, it’s zest and juice are used in Japanese cooking, similar to the way lemons are used here in the States.  It is a key ingredient of ponzu – the citrus-based soy sauce that I have cooked with on many occasions, but about which I never took the time to educate myself.  (c’mon Larissa — even Emeril has a yuzu ponzu recipe!!!  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/aspen-2007-yuzu-ponzu).  It is even used as an essence in bath products.  Who knew?  I have had a bottle of Archipelago Botanicals Yuzu Body Wash (http://www.archipelago-usa.com/) sitting in my spare shower for 2 years – did I ever notice the name?  think to look up yuzu?  nope. 

Yakami Orchard's Yuzu Marmalade

So, what was it that got me to wake up and take note of the yuzu fruit?  Yuzu marmalade at the Fancy Food Show.  It was fabulous.  Seriously.  It was perhaps the one marmalade/jam product that I tasted at the show that I thought was as good as – if not, dare I say, better than – Mass A’Peel’s products.  Let’s just say that they are different.  There is absolutely no way that Mass A’Peel will ever be able to produce yuzu marmalade, so kudos to Yakami Orchards of Japan (and WA imports of Illinois for making this delicacy available to the western world).  I am not the only one enamored of this marmalade…  Just a small sampling of those singing the praises of the yuzu are the New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/25/dining/25yuzu.html?_r=2&ref=dining, and Food & Wine:  http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/global-pantry.

I did have an “aha” moment at the Fancy Food Show after tasting this yuzu marmalade…  Among the hundreds of booths hawking their culinary wares, there were a mere dozen or so that I felt were truly amazing and unique.  Unbeknownst to me, there was a display of all those items that had won the “gold medals” in the Summer Fancy Food Show.  Upon looking at those winners, I noticed that many of them were my favorites too!  Soooo….  the fact that I like Mass A’Peel  products is hopefully not merely a function of the fact that I made them, but a sign that they are in fact good.  Perhaps even gold-medal worthy!?!  One can certainly dream…

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