For those delighted by the charm of citrus fruits, there never is an end to discovering new ones to try and enjoy.
And today, we’ll be looking at the Japanese Yuzu, a fruit with hybrid origins and a taste profile no one seems to hate.
It’s not just an Asian delicacy; the world seems obsessed with its deliciousness.
What does Yuzu taste like? That’s a little tricky, so let’s explore everything about this fruit that has the appearance of lemons but is shaped like oranges.
What Is Yuzu?
Yuzu is the Japanese name for a winter citrus fruit in the Rutaceae family.
The fruit is yellowish-orange or green, resembles a grapefruit, and has an average diameter between 2 to 3 inches.
They sometimes grow up to 4 inches. Yuzu fruits are very aromatic and have many uses in the culinary world.
Besides, it is a rich source of vitamin C and many other nutrients.
So, Yuzu is not just healthy but also a staple item in cosmetics.
The fruit is quite expensive, and this is not without reason; the yuzu tree takes ten years to fruit.
However, its demand only grows because of its significance in the health, culinary, and beauty industries.
Culinary uses for Yuzu include manufacturing vinegar, liquor, teas, snacks, and many more.
There is also a Japanese ritual of using Yuzu for baths; this is believed to help the mind relax and cure colds.
China is the origin of Yuzu, produced as a hybrid between a mandarin orange and an Ichang papeda.
The plant is popularly cultivated in East Asian countries, Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, and Spain.
What Does Yuzu Taste Like?
Understanding the flavor of Yuzu is easy because it tastes just like most citrus fruits– tangy but sweet.
Yuzu is sweet, tart, and citrusy.
You can think of it as a mix between lemon, lime, and grapefruits with a mild hint of mandarin.
Its aroma is fragrantly tangy and refreshing, while its texture is soft and juicy.
Ripe Yuzu has a sourness similar to lemons but doesn’t have the astringent properties of grapefruit.
However, raw Yuzu is unpalatably tart and unsuitable for culinary purposes.
You can find ripe ones in the winter months.
The complex taste of Yuzu makes its zest and juice suitable as a flavoring agent.
Unlike other citrus fruits, Yuzu doesn’t have much juice because their large seeds occupy much of the flesh’s space.
The zest has a floral aroma and is powdered for pastries and many snacks, including ice cream.
Moreover, you can use Yuzu as a substitute for most lemon recipes.
And if you’re curious, Yuzu is healthier than lemons.
Its vitamin C content alone is about twice that of lemons.
Moreover, Yuzu contains more minerals than lemon, contributing to its slight bitterness.
Yuzu indeed contains more nutrients than some of the world’s most famous citrus fruits.
But since the fruit is so rare, you can stick to lemons and other citrus fruits because something is better than nothing.
Foods flavored with Yuzu have a fragrant tangy aroma and can help with colds depending on how you pair them.
It is similar to most lemon-flavored foods, but Yuzu’s fragrance makes it more appealing to people as it heightens their appetite.
How to Cook and Serve Yuzu?
Since Yuzu has large seeds, you might find it difficult to eat as is.
Thankfully, there are many ways you can use it to make delicious foods suitable for any occasion.
- Yuzu kosho: Kosho translates to ‘pepper’ in the Japanese tongue. Yuzu kosho is a Japanese condiment made of yuzu juice, zest, fresh chilies, and salt. It has a fresh, spicy flavor and is perfect for pairing with savory dishes.
- Marmalade: If you’ve tried a lemon marmalade, you will surely love the yuzu version. It has a pleasant aroma, feels refreshing, and is deliciously sweet and sour on the palate. It’s best to remove much of the white parts of the rind so that the marmalade doesn’t turn bitter.
- Yuzu-matcha tea: Yuzu pairs incredibly well with the earthy taste of matcha. Adding some yuzu juice to your regular cup of matcha tea gives a sweet, citrusy, and earthy taste. It is a refreshing tea to drink cold on summer days and also perfect for warming you up on a chilly winter evening. .
- Cocktails: Add yuzu juice or powder to your favorite alcoholic beverages to give them a sour twist. Using the powder in your drink will give it a more floral accent. And if you choose to use the juice, use fresh ones and not bottled yuzu juice, as it will give a richer taste. .
Yuzu is one of those hybrid fruits that turned out just perfect for everyone’s palates.
It has the mild sourness of lemons, the sweetness of mandarin oranges, and the bitterness of grapefruits.
Every flavor that this fruit offers revives your palate, whether you’re enjoying the breeze on a hot day or are down with a cold that strips your taste buds of life.
Now that you know about the deliciousness of Yuzu, you shouldn’t think about debating whether to spend the extra money to try it when you find one.
The fruit is pretty rare, and you might not have another chance to buy it.