Yubeshi Fermented Yuzu

Yubeshi, is a type of wagashi (Japanese confection). It has several flavor and shape variations and is also called "black yuzu”.

It's a ripe yuzu that's hollowed out, the flesh is mixed with a miso and this mixture is then filled back into the hollowed out yuzu.

The whole thing is steamed and then fermented for a long time.

The result is a dark brown yuzu fruit.

The result is a famously hard to describe flavor of richness and depth that combines the slight bitterness of yuzu peel with the tart yuzu juice and velvety sweetness of miso.

This unique means of fermenting fruit was developed between the 10'th and 11'th centuries by farmers who wanted to preserve their yuzu fruit all year long.

Japanese are very seasonal when it comes to condiments and foods, they call it 'shun' along the changes of season. Yubeshi is a preserved food in preparation for winter and handed down in families from ancient times. It is said that travelers carried it as portable food. The process of making yubeshi is recorded in a cooking book titled "Ryori Monogatari" (Tale of Food), written in the Edo period.

Some yubeshi are sweet and served as candy, some are mainly miso taste, sometimes spicy and served as a complement to sake.

The longer the product is stored, the more flavors gain in complexity and the harder the texture will become.

Both the rind and filling are edible.

Yubeshi can be served in many ways, whether sliced thin on top of rice dishes and salad, or softened in a warm soup dish.

Yubeshi is a surprising combination with foie gras or goat cheese!

© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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