Ume ~ A taste of spring!Spring in Japan is synonymous with cherry blossom. The term Sakura is fairly universal, and once weather starts to get a warmer it's a sign of the beauty to come! The March Premium Japan Crate included the lesser known of Spring's flavors, plum! Sangaria Ume Soda was a crisp and light way to sample 'Ume' as a drink. We love how refreshing it is! There are several differences between Ume and Sakura. These range from differences in the shape of the petals, shape of the flower bud, bark of the tree, and ultimately the color of the flower. Each tree also has a very different time for when it blooms! The Japanese plum tree begins blooming in February, so these beauties help usher in spring! Sakura season really gets underway in April and has a much more vibrant tourism industry built up around it. A more familiar flavor for Japanese plum is 'umeboshi' or pickled plum! It is often used when making onigiri, so if you subscribed to our Doki Doki Crate you would've gotten a miniature figure of an umeboshi onigiri (seen below)!
Can you spot the umeboshi onigiri here?Umeboshi can also be eaten dried as a snack! They are seasonal and are intensely sour, salty, and sweet all at the same time. The umeboshi plum is said to help rid the body of toxins, improve energy and aid in digestion. Plum leaves are also used for many medicinal and culinary purposes! If you were a Japan Crate subscriber for January, you may even have had the chance to try the Calbee Ume chips! We hope that you enjoyed this little taste of Spring~! [caption id="attachment_908" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Did anyone watch Fruits Basket and remember the Umeboshi Onigiri story?[/caption]