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Yuzu

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Yuzus have a tart, sour taste and have been described as similar to a grapefruit with overtones of orange and lemon. In fact, the flavor and incredibly aromatic fragrance is unique and difficult to describe and must be experienced to understand its lure.  Yuzu is rarely eaten out of hand and is highly coveted for the aromatic zest and tart juice. It is commonly used in Japanese cuisine like the way lemons are used in cooking, however Yuzus have less juice and more seeds than lemons. 

Yuzu fruit originated in China but is also now heavily grown in Japan and Korea. In the United States, California is the only state growing it commercially.  Yuzu is frost hardy and can withstand temperatures as low as 16 degrees Fahrenheit. Yuzu is not a type of lemon or citron and is thought to be a hybrid of mandarin oranges and a citrus called papeda, native to tropical Asia.

Whole yuzu is very difficult to find and can be expensive due to the relatively small production in the United States. Outside of the short California season, Yuzu juice can be found easily at Japanese grocery stores.  

How to Buy: Look for fragrant and relatively unblemished fruit. Yuzu can feel quite soft as the semi thick rind does not cling to the fruit.

How to use: Yuzu fruit is high in vitamin c and the whole fruit can be used. The white pith of the peel is not very bitter and can be used in recipes along with the outer zest. The pith and seeds are a source of high levels of pectin and can be used to thicken preserves. The peel and zest are used to make preserves, candies and used to flavor soup stocks and spice mixes. The juice is used in many Japanese marinades, sauces, desserts, and beverages including cocktails.

Ponzu sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade for grilled vegetables or meats or a dressing for salads or noodles.

From Yuzu Ramen to Mushroom Salad with Yuzu Dressing to a delicious Yuzu Cheesecake,  find a wide array of savory and sweet recipes here: https://www.yummly.com/recipes/yuzu

Cold nights call for a warm yuzu bath! Float whole yuzu fruits in a hot bath or cut the fruit in half, allowing the citrus juice to scent the bathwater. 

For Fun: Brighten your mood and day by placing a fragrant yuzu on your desk or anywhere in your home. Happy Holidays!

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