Thursday, January 28, 2010
Kokunaisan Yuzukawa Candied Yuzu
I've sampled plenty of yuzu treats up to this point, but haven't eaten anything which contains much more than a speck of real fruit. Considering my enthusiasm for all things yuzu thus far, I jumped at the chance to sample this candied yuzu when I found it at Seiyu supermarket for about 120 yen ($1.33).
For those who don't remember or know, yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit which tastes like a cross between a lemon and a grapefruit. It has the sour notes of lemon and some of the bitter notes of grapefruit. This makes it ideal for candying. It's no surprise then that the second ingredient, after yuzu peel, is sugar. Despite this, this 35 gram (1.2 oz.) bag only has 124 calories, so you don't have to feel too guilty about eating it all in one go.
I don't know if this is supposed to be marketed as a health food or not, but I do believe it's supposed to be a nutritious snack. It has vitamin C added to it, which is fairly common in Japan for many snacks as both Calcium and C are not abundant in traditional Japanese cuisine. There is a fair number of little firm bits of candied rind in the bag. They don't smell like much individually, but the whole bag takes on their citrus scent.
Unsurprisingly, they taste like yuzu, which is to say a little bitter and a little sour. The bitterness is a bit more prominent than the sourness and the sweetness level is pretty spot-on. It's just enough to balance the harsher flavors. The texture is pretty much as you'd expect for this kind of thing. They're solid, but easy to bite through. They're not as chewy as dried fruit because of the candying.
I really liked these, though clearly they don't fall into the category of a candy or salty treat in terms of the pleasure one can extract from them. If you enjoy fruit snacks and want something different, I'd recommend giving this a try. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again, though I have to say that I'd have to be in the right mood to eat it.