Thursday, February 22, 2007

Favorite Things: Yuzu

Does this ever happen to you? You read about some interesting ingredient, the next thing you know it ends up in your shopping basket. I'm sure it was Thy's post about yuzu that got me on the lookout for all yuzu related products. I spotted yuzu fruit spread at Trader Joe's, and the next thing I knew I was opening the jar at breakfast the very next day. I have to admit, I knew yuzu was an Asian citrus fruit, but I'd never come across it fresh or even in juice form, reading Thy's post was the first time I realized it was also known as "citron".

In restaurants I've had yuzu vinaigrettes and sauces with savory dishes, but I'd never had yuzu in a sweet form. Really, it's much more like yuzu jelly in consistency, with just the tiniest bit of lemon peel in it, and it tastes like a complex and nuanced citrus jelly. The flavor is sweet and sour with a lemony kind of tang. But it's very subtle. It doesn't hit you over the head the way orange or grapefruit does. I tried it first on an English muffin, and it melted into the nooks and crannies.

Yuzu fruit spread melts so smoothly that you could easily use it as a glaze on fish, or as the base for a sauce, a little soy sauce would balance out the sweetness. Whisking it up with a little lemon juice makes a great dressing for fruit salad. Or maybe as a sauce over vanilla ice cream. Seeing as how a 3.5 ounce bottle of the juice will cost you $10 or more, the fruit spread is a good way to try it out and experiment a bit. The 10 ounce jar costs only $2.29