Ume (Plum blossoms) begin to bloom in early spring (Jan to April), still feels cold outside.
Plum tree has been traditionally believed to be as a protective charm against evil and planted preferably.
The aroma of plum blossoms is very sweet, the various white and pink colors are beautiful, and it is often compared to patient woman as blooming in the cold weather.
Green Ume fruit begin to grow in Japanese rainy season (Jun to Jul).
It is warned not to eat the raw ummature ume fruit. Ummature green ume fruit contains hydrogen cyanide and said to be poisonous.
However, processed ume fruit food is very tasty and good for improving our health.
Ume liquire (plum wine), Ume jam/syrop, Ume vinegar, Ume pickle (Umeboshi), Ume extract are the examples of healthy Japanese ume foods. They are rich in citric acid and other organic acids.
Umeboshi (pickled and dried plum), a Japanese specialty, is remarkable healthy food.
They are pickled with coarse salt, quite salty and sour, and therefore eaten sparingly.
Green ummatur plums used for making umeboshi are harvested in late May or early June, and layered with salt.
They are weighed down with a heavy stone until late August. They are then dried in the sun on bamboo mats for several days (they are returned to the salt at night).
When they are pickled with purple shiso (perilla) leaves, they turned beautiful red. The flavonoid pigment in the leaves gives them their distinctive colour and a richer flavour.
Umeboshi are generally eaten with rice as a filling for Onigiri (rice ball), added to bento (boxed lunch) to keep the other foods from going bad.
Plum fruit has long been used as a traditional drug and healthy food with various medicinal property in Japan. Not only internal use, external use like preventing cavity, headache, insect bite, boil, etc.
Some skin brightening or anti-aging skincare products contains ume extract. Ume hydrosol is one of the remarkable natural ingredients with sweet aroma.
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