I have discovered that Japan is all about its seasonal fruits. A few months ago, persimmons and figs were hanging ripe on countless dozens of trees in our neighbourhood and could be found for great prices at every grocery store. Now, it is difficult to find them but the time of the citrus fruit is at hand. Yuzu, a sour citrus fruit that is a bit like a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon, are everywhere and all sorts of drinks and sweets flavoured with yuzu can be found. We are being given mikan, or as Canadians love to call them, Christmas oranges, by the the bagful from friends with trees. Last week, Dustin's Japanese teacher gave us a bag of kinkan, or kumquats, from the tree on their yard. I had never tried one before and always assumed that they taste similar to loquats, which grow everywhere in the area of Mexico where my dad lives. I was terribly wrong, since really nothing about them, other than their size and the "quat" in the name, is similar to a loquat. The rind is sweet and tastes just like eating an orange peel but slightly less intense. The inside is lemony sour. You eat the fruit rind and all, and together the taste is almost like popping a spoonful of deliciously tart and intensely flavourful marmalade into your mouth. I have become fascinated with the flavour of these little beauties and managed to eat the whole bag were given in just a few days. It is a good thing that they are in season now and can be found just about everywhere. I better enjoy them while they are still around though, since I will have to wait a whole year once they are no longer in season.
Written by Laura on Thursday, February 09, 2012
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