Saturday, August 20, 2005



IT has always been LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. Uh-uh---- it's not like that, silly! HAHAHAH!!!

YOU SEE, U is for UMEBOSHI or PICKLED JAPANESE PLUMS always take their place of honor in almost every Japanese meal. The pickled plum tastes something like sweet and sour to salty. It is similar to the Champoy na pula in Chinatown. The similarity ends there. Umeboshi is soft [minus the seeds, which others break and eat], watery, sometimes naturally colored red [from the Shiso leaves]. The best UMEBOSHI are made by the old folks who have turned this into a ritual and an art.

UMEBOSHIs are used in ONIGIRIs [ balled rice which contains just anything inside, wrapped in NORI (dried seaweeds)]. I love ONIGIRIs since they are easy to eat, no hassles these ones.UMEBOSHIs are also used in cooking, in sauces for salads, as side dish, and lately,....would you believe?=ICE CREAM! There was this TV program that boasted of tasting UMEBOSHI-flavored ICE CREAM. Cool! I have tasted other concoctions, but not this one. Guess gotta try that one, too.

UMEBOSHIs are said to be a good eat once-a-day. It is being promoted as a health food by all. When someone feels out of sorts, he/she is advised to chew some UMEBOSHI. All attest to instant cure. It is also included in a bowl of OKAYU [LUGAW for Juan!] for the sick, young and old alike. I had this once when I had cold last winter. The soft, salty UMEBOSHI makes one cringe at its taste. Almost all react the same way once they put UMEBOSHI into their mouth. Although salty, it is recommended by old folks. It is by this reason that my OBASAN [AUNT] sent a jar of UMEBOSHI last week.

I HAVE still a long way to go as far as learning HOW to make pickeld plums, but am willing to do just that. The only problem is that the women force of this clan live in far-away KYUSHU. I guess I have to wait for the right time, huh?

But one thing I realized while here in another Land: I LOVE U. U is for UMEBOSHI!


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