November 20, 2013
I've had a long love affair with the pickled "plums" (they're actually apricots) of Japan. I love to start the day with ume tea, and I try to end every sushi meal with a handroll of rice and yama imo sparked with sweetly salty umeboshi paste.
But on this trip to Japan I discovered the many varieties of ume pickles, which run an entire gamut of flavors and textures. The plums can be hard or soft, sweet or salty; the kind I ended up bringing home are lightly grilled, which brings out another aspect of their character.
In Japan good umeboshi can be very expensive; this little jar was $15, which means that the plums themselves were more than $2 each. Well worth it, I think. I've been eating them with nothing more than a warm bowl of rice – a perfect breakfast.
I'm about to start looking for a source of great umeboshi on this side of the Pacific; all suggestions will be gratefully received.
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