There are many Japanese fruits you don't know like Yuzu, Kinkan, Daidan, Sudachi and others. In this article we will talk about these unknown citrus fruits grown in Japan.
Citrus fruits are my favorites. In Japan you can easily find lemon, orange and tangerine, often of the Japanese variety that can vary in size and flavor. Sometimes sweet or sometimes more sour.
Yuzu – Japanese Lemon
Yuzu [柚] is a bitter Japanese citrus fruit, being the best known Japanese fruit in the West. Yuzu is rarely consumed because it is very bitter, but it is widely used in Japanese cuisine, juices and drinks.
Its origin is Chinese, but it ended up being labeled as a Japanese fruit. In addition to its strong flavor, it is also a strong flavoring agent, used to perfume dishes whether opened or grated. It is not very acidic and resembles a mixture of lemon and tangerine.
It is worth mentioning other fruits such as Kabosu, Shikwasa which is very similar to Yuzo. There are also other sour fruits like ume and plums.
We recommend reading: Kudamono – Name of Fruits in Japanese
mikan – Japanese tangerine
Mikan [みかん] is the most common type of Japanese tangerine, commonly known as kan (other varieties are Iyokan and Ponkan). Mikan peels easily and is seedless and is widely popular as a dessert or snack when they are in season in early winter.
Mikan was introduced to Japan about 400 years ago, where in the West it is known as tangerine. This is one of the few Japanese fruits exported outside the country. There are differences in its flavor compared to other tangerines found in Brazil.
Kinkan – The Japanese mini orange
Kinkan [金柑] is a fruit similar to an orange, but very small, slightly larger than an olive. Its scientific name is Citrus japonica. It can also be known by the names of Xinxim, Kumquat or fortunella.
In Japan, the cultivation of Kinkan is located largely on the island of Kyushu, its fruit grows in a bush that can reach up to 3 meters, the fruit plant is also very appreciated for ornamental purposes. The kinkan can be eaten whole, its skin is sweet, and the inside is slightly sour.
Kinkan orange is good for helping with wound healing and strengthening the body's immunity. It also has regenerative properties like lutein, zeaxanthin, carotenoids and tannins. Kinkan is also rich in minerals, helps in weight loss diets and fights flu and throat symptoms.
Daidai – Symbol of longevity
Daidai [橙] is a very curious fruit, it is a Japanese citrus fruit, considered a symbol of longevity in Japan. Its fruit remains for several years on the tree without being consumed, in winter it turns orange, in summer it turns green again.
The word Daidai means several generations, and this even influenced the ancient orange color that was called Daidaiiro [橙色]. The Daidai fruit is extremely bitter and is rarely consumed. It is sometimes used in cooking and its bark is often used for medicine.
Daidai originated in the Himalayas. It spread through the Yangtze River Valley region of China and later became popular in Japan. It is also used as an expectorant and digestive tonic.
Sudachi – Lemon or orange?
Sudachi [酢橘] are small Japanese citrus fruits that look like a simple lemon, but are slightly compared to oranges despite being sour and small. Sudachi is a symbol of Tokushima Prefecture, where much of the fruit production is concentrated.
They are grown on the island of Shikoku, but are rarely eaten as fruit, they are used in Japanese cuisine, sushi, soba, dessert and as a decoration. There is also a vinegar made from sudachi.
A slice of this fruit is served alongside many traditional dishes of Japanese cuisine, which include dishes such as fish, soba, udon, nabemono, and even alcoholic beverages. Sudachi along with yuzo and kabosu form the basis for Ponzu sauce.
These were some citrus fruits from Japan. Do you know others? We look forward to hearing your comments and thank you for sharing. Thanks for reading this short article, until next time!