Yuzu is a citrus fruit that is a hybrid of sour tangerines and Ichang lemons. It grows on relatively frost-resistant trees and can reach heights of up to two and a half meters in height. There are several different types of this plant known to exist, including large and narrow-leaved varieties and broad and narrow-winged ones.
Characteristics of Yuzu
Since the yuzu produces such a small amount of juice, the juice is extremely valuable. In Asia, it is used as a spice, tea, and remedy colds when soaked in warm water.
Yuzu also plays an important role in the religious practices of East Asian countries. In Japan, historical records dating back to the 17th-century mention yuzu being used for therapeutic purposes.
It is said to be beneficial in relieving the pain of cracked skin and driving away evil spirits because of its fragrance when cut into sections and pickled.
Varieties of Yuzu
There are some unique yuzu cultivars in terms of culinary or commercial use, but they are not usually distinguished. There are also yuzu varieties, but they are generally considered to be extremely rare.
Yuzu trees are typically attached to rootstock, but yuzu (misho) can be sold at a higher price as a gourmet fruit because of its superior flavor, and it is grown by seed.
The growing characteristics of yuzu varieties separate them from one another. It is very unlikely to distinguish these varieties on a large and commercial scale because it is possible to tell the difference.
If you visit or live in Japan, then you will be able to distinguish the varieties. Here are a few examples of varieties found:
- Among the yuzu cultivars grown in the Kochi yuzu growing region, the Kiyotou, Kumon, and Nagano varieties are known to be particularly valuable.
- Tadanishiki is a seedless yuzu variety.
- Komatsu Sadao yuzu contains large amounts of fragrant components that give yuzu its distinctive fragrance.
- There are several other varieties, including Komatsu Koichi, Yasu, and Jimoto about which there are scarce details currently available.
Other Types of Yuzu
Yuzu is typically picked from trees grown on; these trees have been attached to a rootstock, but another type of yuzu can command a higher price as a decadent product because it is grown from seeds.
- Misho-yuzu is commonly found in mountainous regions, and harvesting this from the trees’ towering heights can be time-consuming and difficult.
- Shishi Yuzu is a large and knotted yuzu that is commonly used in baths and other similar applications. It is not used in the kitchen for culinary endeavors.
- Although yukou is an uncommon citrus fruit in Japan that is usually mistaken for yuzu, it is not related to yuzu.
Where Is Yuzu Commonly Found?
In countries other than Japan and Korea, whole yuzu can be extremely difficult to come by. It is grown commercially on a small scale in California and Australia, but it is not commonly found in most grocery stores there.
Yuzu juice can be found in different Japanese grocery stores with relative ease.
How to Identify Yuzu?
Look for fruit that is bright, fragrant, and relatively unblemished. Despite its relatively thick skin, yuzu can have a soft texture because it does not adhere tightly to the underlying fruit.
What Does Yuzu Taste Like?
It is slightly bitter, sour, and highly aromatic with a powerful and distinct scent and flavor, not to be confused with sweet (especially in the zest). While similar to lemon in taste and aroma, this herb has an herbal undertone and a distinct perfumed scent.
Can Yuzu Be Substituted?
It is extremely difficult to find a suitable substitute for this fruit. Even though lemon and citron are closely related, yuzu has a distinct flavor and an even more distinct aroma that distinguishes it from the others.
In many cases, bottled yuzu juice and lemon zest are the best substitutes for fresh yuzu juice and zest.
What Cuisine Uses Yuzu the Most?
Yuzu is a citrus fruit that is particularly popular in Japanese and Korean cuisines. Traditionally, the juice is used in vinegar as a substitute in sauces and other dishes, while the fragrant peel is used in various sweet and savory preparations. Yuzu is becoming increasingly popular in modern and fusion cuisines all over the world, particularly in Asia.
Health Benefits of Yuzu
There are numerous other potential advantages of using yuzu; below are all the benefits of using this exotic fruit.
- It may have anti-diabetic effects. In an experiment, mice were fed a diet high in fat. Extract from yuzu peel was found to be effective in controlling levels of blood sugar in its body.
- It may aid in cholesterol reduction.
- Potential applications in the treatment of heart failure. Extract from the yuzu may be able to mitigate heart muscle damage caused by a heart attack. This will help prevent heart failure in the future.
- It has the potential to improve health or bones and make them tougher. Extract from the Yuzu peel may help maintain strength in the bones.
- It may protect against any form of infection. Yuzu seed extract can be used for protection against various infectious organisms, including Salmonella, influenza, and E. coli, and it has been demonstrated in studies.
- It is used in the production of anti-aging face products. It is used in makeup products for collagen production and skin lightening.
The Final Note
Yuzu is a popular fruit in Asian countries because it adds flavor and acidity to their food. You can find this ingredient in Asian stores close by to amp up your food.