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Japanese Citrus Fruits Posted by on Nov 1, 2010 in Cuisine

Japan is a country loaded with citrus fruits. There are just too many varieties to list them all, but here are some that you might encounter in Japan :

Yuzu (ユズ) is a citrus fruit with a rough, patchy skin that can be yellow or green. Yuzu can be as sour as a grapefruit and people rarely eat it in its natural form. Yuzu is often used in various Japanese alcohol, sauce and teas. The rind of the Yuzu is sometimes used for its aromatic smell in puddings and other confectionary.

The prefecture of Tokushima ()  is where the majority of Sudachi (スダ) is grown. Sudachi is a green citrus fruit used in flavoring fish, soups, alcohol, ice cream and soft drinks. It has a very zesty taste. Other than Tokushima, Sudachi is hard to acquire. Therefore it’s quite expensive to purchase and used in fine cooking.

Unshū mikan (ウンシュウミカン) also called Satsuma (温州蜜柑) are small, sweet, seedless, orange colored citrus fruits. They are very easy to peel and can bruise easily. The first unshū mikan was cultivated in Japan. They were exported to China and eventually to other countries.

Kabosu (カボ) is a yellow-green citrus fruit cultivated in Ōita Prefecture (大分). Kabosu has a sour taste and is used in place of vinegar in Japanese cooking. It can also be used to marinate fish, but since kabosu is expensive, it’s used sparingly.

Dekopon (デコポ) is a large, sweet, seedless, orange colored citrus fruit. It is easily distinguished by its large bulbous top and thick skin. In Japan, dekopon is grown in a greenhouse and can survive in winter months under a controlled temperature.

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