Common in Japan, this variety of plum is very popular for it health benefits. The ume plum is a fruit that is harvested when it is green before it ripens to be used as a pickled condiment, which is referred to as umeboshi. When mature, the ume plum turns bright yellow with a reddish orange blush over the outer skin, which covers a tart pulp that holds a small stone or pit. Since the meat of this fruit it is very tart in flavor, it is not considered to be a snacking plum such as other fresh fruits. In addition to pickling, ume plums are used to make wine, vinegar, jam, seasonings, and a variety of health foods that value the high levels of organic acids contained in the plum. Digestion, levels of energy, muscle cramping, and several other health conditions are often considered to be helped from the consumption of the ume plum. When pickled, ume plums or umeboshi plums as they are also referred, are added to rice dishes, salads, salad dressings, or crushed and added as a topping to steamed vegetables.
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