Two years ago I visited the mother of an old friend. She was in her late eighties and felt the need to share with me one of her treasures. During the end of the visit she handed me an earth-ware pot filled with her own ume. The ume were given to her every year by her older brother who lives in the north of Japan.
The ume fruit become over time umeboshi. These fruits are traditionally made by harvesting ume fruit when they ripen around June and packing them in salt. The salt exudes the fruit’s juices. The juices umami gets mixed into the brine and the konbu’s glutamates help keep the environment stable. This salty mixture together with the konbu gives an extraordinary flavor.
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