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Discussion in 'Citrus' started by Junglekeeper, Apr 15, 2006.
If you've eaten yuzu as fresh fruit I'd like to know what you think of its taste.
Junglekeeper, Yuzu taste much like a lemon, but does have a little off tastes. Yuzu does not have quite the clean fresh crisp taste of a lemon. The fruit contains about as many seeds as juice. At the present time Yuzu is quite trendy in up scale restaurants. BTW, I ate my first Ponkan Mandarin today. It was not fully ripe, but was accidently knocked off the tree so I peeled it and tasted it. VERY GOOD, could be my favorite mandarin, although I'll have to reserve judgement untill I can taste a fully mature Ponkan. - Millet
Maybe it's removed or masked by the cooking process. Yuzu is often mentioned in cooking forums and is apparently, as you noted, quite trendy. Wouldn't mind trying one if only they were available at retail. I was browsing the seasonings shelf at the supermarket when I noticed a product called Ponzu. Being a citrus nut and with a name like that I had to try it. It's a "citrus seasoned soy sauce & dressing". I found it light, sweet tasting and good with steamed vegetables. Interestingly the ingredients do not include yuzu but does have lemon juice along with lemon and orange flavors. Ponzu - another marketing gimmick.
On the subject of first tastes I recently tried a Page mandarin and a Trovita orange.
The Page was really sweet with a nice taste but it was very hard to peel. Most enjoyable. The Trovita was also sweet and tasted much like other navels - good but not special. There's a Meyer lemon waiting in my fridge for when my taste buds are fresh.
Ponkan may be the same mandarin that I tried earlier this year. You may recall I had asked about one called Lo Kan in the forums. There were other variations on the name (e.g. Lokan, Lu Gan) but all appeared to be the same mandarin. I liked the taste too but the quality of the fruit varied.
Not exactly...I tried a Cara Cara navel earlier and it has since become my favorite orange. Nice mix of flavors. And in the spirit of trying new varieties I even ate an entire Seville sour orange. Edible but not something I'd want to do again.
Junglekeeper, try looking in a Japanese produce store for Yuzu. The Page Mandarin is considered to by many to be the best tasting citrus of them all. - Millet
I had some organic Cara Cara (though they called them Kara Kara) about six weeks ago - extremely pleasant and flavourful - number two for me behind a really good blood orange for the citrus I've tasted. I then had some supermarket non-organic fruit while in California - not worth the money.
It's quite amazing when you think about the citrus varieties that exist. I've been looking for different ones to try and have only managed to track down a very small number. It'd be nice to tour an orchard where many varieties are grown and where one can sample fresh fruit off the tree. Are there such tours?
Well, if you can fly down to UC Riverside this weekend, they are having their Centennial Open House and Barbecue at the Citrus Research Center-Agricultural Experiment Station
I missed out on going to Riverside this last trip, and it is probably the place I regret most not seeing.
This is approx. 0.75 of a square mile of citrus groves with two trees each of approximately 900 different citrus types.
There is the Gene Lester Grove tour in the spring, and another tour of his grove in the fall. Gene has over 200 different varieties of mature citrus trees growing on his citrus ranch near Watsonville, California. If your a CRFG member, or a guest of a CRFG member, you can tour his grove, taste most of the varieties you wish to taste, and even cut budwood from 90 percent of his trees. A great way to start your own variety collection. Many of Gene's varieties cannot be found in nurseries or online. This spring I received 18 different budwood sticks of "rare" or hard to locate varieties . Varieties such as a Ginger Lime and Giant Mexican Lime. Also, as a CRFG menber you can attend the CRFG Fruit Feast that is held every year in California. This gourmet feast has just about every type of tropical/rare fruit grown that you could ever imagine. If your going to California this weekend, you will need a passport. I ??believe?? a passport is now required to enter the United States, even when coming from Canada, as of January 1, 2006. - Millet
These sound like fabulous tours. Almost makes me want to go and get a passport.
I've gone into the states a lot since the first of the year. Have yet to need a passport. It could be that we are a small border town... or.. heck if I know. I do recomend having a passport though... I'm in the process of getting mine. Just makes ease of crossing the border and unexpected travel as well
Junglekeeper, There is also the Lincove Citrus Tour. The Lindcove Agricultural Research Station, in Exeter, California takes place every January. The tour is hosted by the Sequoia chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG). In fact, there is a very good four page article, with many colored pictures, of the last Lindcove tour in this months "Fruit Gardener" (the CRFG magizine.) I have a Xerox color copier, if your interested in obtaining a full color copy of the article, send me a private message with your address and I will send a copy to you. - Millet
Thanks for the offer, Millet. I'll keep it in mind should I decide to do some travelling.
As the Yuzu (yuzeu like 'eux' in french), it looks like a mandarin with the flavedo(and albedo) floating around the pulp ( air inclusion...so, very easy to peel) .
the fragrance is strong and agreable mix of citrus, lavender and patchouli???
the origine is China , but the Japaneses are using it a lot for ceremonies : the longest night bath "Tohji" the solstice warm bath with floating Yuzu 1-9 but not pair(4,6,8) yu per association means warm water,the # of yuzu are consider a lucky omen for the new year ( the # 4,6,8 are associate to death and pain suffering ) .
the juice of the fruit itself is use as vinegar, or additive to fish marinade.
and of course to a whole line of cosmetic from parfum to skin pomade ect...
the fruit as a whole is used as a pommorand in lavandery to keep the silk kimono with a fresh scent.the rind is use to flavor drink and winter O'cha(japanese green tea) with some O'sake/O'shochu (rice wine, rice liquor)
the fruit has a lot of big roundish seeds (34-52) with 2 tone colors :apex offwhite and their bottom beige.
they are sprouting very easly at temp 75F, with hight moisture and no lights ( I cover them with opac black plastic for 2 weeks then a lot of light and heat.
the seeds may be polyembrionic up to 6 nucellars seedling for one seed, clone the mother tree.I did not remark any albino seedlings.
the true format leaves will be at the 3rd set of double leaves , flat petiole like a small leave with at its top a big one.
the tree develop fast and after 3 years( untill then it is consider a 'komodo' baby with a lot of need : no excessive watering ,no winds, not too much direct sun...), it is hardy to 0C (some say -5/10C) but with no freezing winds, preferable to warm it with a few 20 watts bulbs during the cold nights.
the tree is very thorny, so if you handle one only, cut the thorns as they harden, the size of the tree from 6 feet in Shiba(Tokyo) to 15 feet in Osaka (South Japan).
I send a few seedling to Mr. Byron Martin from the Logee's nursery in Danielson PA, He has a yuzu with green small fruits but I think it is a yuzu-ko with little fragrance and small friuts but a very beautiful tree.
regarding fresh yuzu:yes, i have tasted it. the juice is extremely acidic and even bitter when fresh. it only shows it's culinary value after fermentation/combining with other ingredienrs such as soy or miso based sauces, the zest is also invaluable as delicate accent to steamed/grilled dishes, and as additive to winter o-cha as "le bon chemin" noted too. i don't think it is a negative characteristic, it is precisely these traits that make it unique, messing with it would no doubt adulterate it's individuality.
it is not meant in any way to be eaten "as is". it is the juice and zest that makes this citrus valuable. even the juice is usually fermented or made into a type of vinegar before use.
this is not exactly related, but i see many comments here regarding kaffir lime. the fruits are not valuable for much at all (other than some rather esoteric uses of the dried rind) it is the leaves, and the leaves alone, which have the distinct aroma and scent signature that makes them irreplaceable in certain asian recipes.
i think it is kind of silly to try to modify the fruit to taste better; it seems akin to trying to produce a type of rhubarb with a delicious and edible flower.
some species are best appreciated for the uses they were intentionally grown for.although now i feel kind of silly for saying this as one of the most superlative examples of all citrus, the venerable meyers lemon, is the result of tinkering and crossing.
so maybe after all not everything is best left alone.
as for yuzu, i have tasted it fresh, but i have never attempted growing one from seed, anyone out there with experience germinating/growing/maintaning yuzu? what about soil ph or conditions best for yuzu?
Yuzu seed will germinate in 15-21 days with bottom heat of 90F. PH for growing the tree is 6.2-6.5. However, why would anyone grow a yuzu from seed? For $45.00 you can purchase a mature Yuzu tree and have fruit at the time of purchase. From seed it will by a wait of many years. Besides a grafted tree has much more to offer, than a seedling Yuzu growing on its own roots. - Millet
the answer to why anyone (me) would want togrow a yuzu from seed, is, i live in israel, and not only can i not purchase a small yuzu for $45, i couldn't buy one for $4,000 even if i wanted to; yuzu in any form, even the seeds, are unavailable and not brought to israel. i obtained the seeds in the states and hand carried them over here.
also the same story with meyers lemon, kaffir lime, heirloom tomatoes, jalapeno chiles, shiso, and numerous other things i took for granted growing up in california. believe me i would so much prefer to be able to buy the tree!! ps. thanks for soil temp and ph advice for the yuzu germination.
Have a look at the thread http://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/17534 for potential sources for trees in your area. Meyer Lemon and Buddha's Hand are amongst their offerings. I didn't see Yuzu or Kaffir Lime though.
i have heard of citrus growing in the seattle area, but only specific kinds. is this true of yuzu ?
According to Sunset's Citrus, Yuzu is hardy to -18C/0F (zone 7). I believe Seattle is in zone 8 so it looks like it can be grown there.
does that mean i could potentially grow it in abbotsford !?!?!? we are zone 8a, that would be amazing! where would i get ahold of a yuzu citrus tree?
It would be useful to note the following from the same publication:
I believe Tiny Tom's Tangerine had this variety some time ago. Do a search in these forums for contact information. Also check with Fruit Trees and More.
Next time you eat a Yuzu, spit the seeds into an envelope and send them to me OK?
As for Ponzu, there used to be a Japanese restaurant a few blocks west of the brewery at the end of the Burrard bridge that made the best gyu tataki-raw beef with ponzu sauce, garlic, shredded onion, ginger and maybe something else. The mouth waters...
Are you addressing anyone in particular? I have yet to come across a yuzu fruit at retail.
Nobody in particular JK, I'd just like to have a whack at growing some.