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Re: Umeboshi recipe

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  • chasrmartin
    ... I merely consulted my local botanist; I m an academic, there are lots of such folks around. I can get him to tell me what he consulted. However, note a
    Message 1 of 23 , Feb 3, 2007
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      --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > Noble Cousin!
      >
      > Greetings from Solveig!
      > > Wow, was that selective reading. Notice that I pointed out the ume
      > > plum is both the prunus genus and subgenus. Being of both the genus
      > > and subgenus, they differ only in very specific morphology, and --- as
      > > someone just pointed out --- are probably even inter-fertile.
      > 1. The same plant is often classified differently by different
      > botanists.
      > 2. For culinary purposes, there can even be significant difference
      > between different varieties
      > of the same genus.
      > 3. Richard Hosking in "A Dictionary of Japanese Food" classifies ume as:
      > Prunus mume (Armeniaca mume)
      > Kodansha Nihon Shokuzai Hyakka Jiten says that ume is a Japanese
      > apricot
      > The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Food says that the "Japanese plum"
      > is Prunus salica NOT Prunus prunus or
      > Prunus mume.
      > 4. My earlier identification of ume with with Prunus mume was not
      > taken from Hosking, but was actually taken from
      > Tyôzaburô Tanaka. Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the
      > World. Edited by Sasuke Nakao. Keigaku Publishing
      > Co., 1976. which I found at the Harvard Yenching Library.
      > 5. Prunus prunus doesn't even show up in the linean index of the food
      > dictionary for the Cambridge Encyclopedia of food.
      > The dictionary states that the European domestic plum is Prunus
      > domestica which are frequently dried to make prunes.
      > The dictionary also states that Prunus salicina only made it
      > Japan about 300 years ago. According to the index, Prunus
      > domestica is the "plum" or "cherry plum", Prunus salicina is the
      > "Japanese Plum". The index does not list Prunus mume.
      > The text entry for apricot (Prunus armeniaca) states that it was
      > domesticated in China 5,000 years ago.
      > 6. The authors of Shoku Bunka Ron (ISBN 4-7679-1428-0) [see page
      > 86-87] state that ume are indigenous to Japan
      > dating to before the Yayoi period.
      > 7. The plant name database at the University of Melbourne http://
      > www.plantnames.unimelb.edu.au/Sorting/Prunus.html
      > states that Armeniaca mume (Siebold & Zucc.) Carrière -> Prunus
      > mume Sieb. et Zucc.
      >
      > Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc.
      >
      > SYNONYM(S) : Armeniaca mume Sieb.
      >
      > CHINESE : Mei,  Wu mei (medicinal name),  (Ma mei -
      > incorrect name, result of a bad transliteration).
      >
      > DANISH : Japansk abrikos.
      >
      > DUTCH : Japanse abrikoos.
      >
      > ENGLISH : Japanese apricot.
      >
      > FINNISH : Japaninaprikoosi.
      >
      > FRENCH : Abricot du Japon, Abricotier du Japon, Abricotier japonais,
      > Prune du Japon, Prune d'ume, Prunier japonais, Ume, Umé.
      >
      > GERMAN : Japanischer Aprikosenbaum, Japanische Aprikose, Mumebaum,
      > Schneeaprikose (Switzerland).
      >
      > ITALIAN : Albicocco del Giappone, Albicocco giapponese.
      >
      > JAPANESE:  Ume,  Ume, Ume no mi,  Miume.
      >
      > KOREAN : Maihwa.
      >
      > PORTUGUESE : Damasqueiro da China.
      >
      > RUSSIAN : Abrikos iaponskii, Abrikos mume.
      >
      > SPANISH : Albaricoquero japonés.
      >
      > THAI : Boir, Foung.
      >
      > VIETNAMESE : .
      >
      > > So don't teach old monks to suck eggs.
      > Now that I have shared my sources of information. Please share yours.


      I merely consulted my local botanist; I'm an academic, there are lots
      of such folks around. I can get him to tell me what he consulted.
      However, note a few things:

      (1) Your identification of ume with prunus mume is exactly the same as
      I gave. Most of the rest of your accumulation of references is either
      beating our agreement on that to death, or simply non sequitur. I
      simply think "it's not really a plum" is a silly thing to say; the
      word in English is "plum". It's not "really" an apricot either. The
      word in English is still "plum." Lao Tzu said it, sorry you didn't
      catch the quote before: "The name that can be spoken is not a fixed
      name."

      (2) If you're going to make a big deal about the "linean index" you
      should probably learn to spell "linnean". After that, you should
      probably work on the distinction between a "dictionary of food" and
      formal botanical description.

      (3) And following that, you might consider whether being a pedantic
      self-important twit is really a productive approach to achieving a
      happy life.

      Mugyo
    • Jason Adams
      Ah, the ole wiki :) I should have looked there first! Itns nice to see community efforst inspired under the Wiki tradition. Ill have to see if I can dig up
      Message 2 of 23 , Feb 3, 2007
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        Ah, the ole wiki :) I should have looked there first! Itns nice to
        see community efforst inspired under the Wiki tradition. Ill have to
        see if I can dig up an old college buddy who lived in Japan for a few
        years, maybe he can get me some of the real ume and Ill just salt the
        livin hell outta the little buggers and leave em in the sun and see
        how they turn out! :)

        If they're no good to eat, maybe they're good for slingshots?
        hhmmmm... I'd like to see that umeboshi made in 1576 now!!!

        -Jason

        --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Franzi <fdickson@...> wrote:

        > Just for kicks:
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plum
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apricot
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umeboshi
        > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ume
        > > Should I just get the damned things off of Amazon??? LOL :) :) :)
        > Yes.
        >
      • James Eckman
        ... I m positive that outside of 3-4 select areas in the US, that asking for umeboshi would get you a completely blank look. Asking in anything but an Asian
        Message 3 of 23 , Feb 3, 2007
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          > Posted by: "Jason Adams"
          > America has lots of very nice "200 years ago our ancestors brought
          > *this* over, look at how much *better* we've made it since then" going
          > on.

          I'm positive that outside of 3-4 select areas in the US, that asking for
          umeboshi would get you a completely blank look. Asking in anything but
          an Asian market in those select areas will probably get you a blank look.

          > So if I wanted an AUTHENTIC umeboshi experience, I should be
          > doing what?
          >
          > Should I just get the damned things off of Amazon??? LOL :) :) :)
          > (geez, is there nothing you cannot get off of amazon?)

          Yes. I haven't seen geisha advertised there yet, but perhaps I'm not
          looking in the right location ;)

          > Since amazon is better know for books, would there possibly be a
          > recipe book they might carry as well? Something with "traditional" or
          > "folk" japenese foods and the like?

          Others on the list can give you good links to historical recipes, I have
          a fairly modern book I often use;

          http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Cooking-Simple-Shizuo-Tsuji/dp/0870113992

          I will admit that I haven't tried the chicken sashimi recipe yet.

          > Posted by: "Franzi"
          > As I see it, the debate runs thus:
          >
          > anti-"plum" side: "Plum" conjures up a big, purple fruit in the mind
          > of an English-speaker.

          Growing up near the plum capital of the US, I guess I missed that
          connotation. When I go to the farmers market, sometimes I can't even
          figure out what's a plum unless they label it!

          "Apricot" is still inaccurate, but it's a
          > better translation than "plum", half-baked traditions be damned!

          Part of the problem is that ume that most of us see never one ripened! I
          think they get a ruddy golden when they do. Some of the weird plum
          varieties I've seen are kind of like that as well.

          > Posted by: "Solveig Throndardottir"
          >
          > Greetings from Solveig! The problem with traditional translation is
          > that you are prone to getting the wrong ingredient if you go to the
          > store and try to make stuff from scratch. For example, katsuo
          > (Katsuwonus pelamis) despite anything it says on the packaging is not
          > bonito. It is actually a skipjack.

          I've never lived in an area without Japanese markets so I've not been
          forced to that extreme yet. I have dried fish before, but I'm sure
          there's a trick to get it rock hard like the Japanese manage to do.

          > Posted by: "Solveig Throndardottir"
          >
          > Noble Cousin!
          >
          > 1. The same plant is often classified differently by different
          > botanists.
          > 2. For culinary purposes, there can even be significant difference
          > between different varieties
          > Now that I have shared my sources of information. Please share yours.

          My Canon Wordtank has both as a translation, as well as Shogakukan! The
          freeware JEDICT only has plum, the one I usually 'grab' when I'm on my
          computer. (Might need to update!) Shogakukan uses plum though to
          describe all of the derivatives like umeboshi, etc.

          Enough to confuse anyone.

          My cookbook also has a recipe for umeboshi which mentions as an aside
          that almost every village in Japan has a special recipe for it. I've
          also seen on NHK the farmers that put the bottles over the buds so that
          the ume are grown in the bottle! That's pretty hard core, I suggest a
          mason jar, which is appropriate for this type of liquor ;)

          I'm also sure that you could probably cause a national riot if you made
          a claim that only this one type of umeboshi is the real one. The other
          99.9% would have to hammer you. It would be as bad as some of the ramen
          wars ;)

          Jim Eckman
        • Solveig Throndardottir
          Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... I don t recommend chicken sashimi in North America unless you raise the birds yourself. The problem with North
          Message 4 of 23 , Feb 3, 2007
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            Noble Cousin!

            Greetings from Solveig!
            > I will admit that I haven't tried the chicken sashimi recipe yet.
            I don't recommend chicken sashimi in North America unless you raise
            the birds yourself. The problem with North American chickens these
            days is that they generally have salmonella. This is a comparatively
            recent problem. When I was in elementary school, raw eggs were still
            considered safe. As for plums. We had two plum trees in our back yard
            along with two apple trees and a bunch of berry vines.

            > "Apricot" is still inaccurate, but it's a

            You really have to put Japanese in front as Apricots are a different
            species as well.

            > I've never lived in an area without Japanese markets so I've not been
            > forced to that extreme yet. I have dried fish before, but I'm sure
            > there's a trick to get it rock hard like the Japanese manage to do.

            I ran across a detailed description of how to make katsuo bushi
            several years ago. Unfortunately, I don't recall where it is.
            Regardless, it is a rather involved process. Shaving is the final
            process. Before shaving, the fish looks a lot like a piece of
            wood. I have even seen one of the things hanging under the eves of a
            house.

            > My Canon Wordtank has both as a translation, as well as Shogakukan!
            > The
            > freeware JEDICT only has plum, the one I usually 'grab' when I'm on my
            > computer. (Might need to update!) Shogakukan uses plum though to
            > describe all of the derivatives like umeboshi, etc.

            This is probably a concession to early mislabeling.

            > I'm also sure that you could probably cause a national riot if you
            > made
            > a claim that only this one type of umeboshi is the real one. The other
            > 99.9% would have to hammer you. It would be as bad as some of the
            > ramen
            > wars ;)

            On the other hand, there are several places in Japan which claim to
            be the true home of Momotarou. And, there can be fairly aggressive
            regional advertising for miso.

            Your Humble Servant
            Solveig Throndardottir
            Amateur Scholar
          • chasrmartin
            ... for ... look. Seriously, most any health-food grocery should have them: they re central to Michio Kushi s macrobiotic diet. Failing that, the Amazon
            Message 5 of 23 , Feb 3, 2007
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              --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, James Eckman <ronin_engineer@...> wrote:
              >
              > I'm positive that outside of 3-4 select areas in the US, that asking
              for
              > umeboshi would get you a completely blank look. Asking in anything but
              > an Asian market in those select areas will probably get you a blank
              look.

              Seriously, most any health-food grocery should have them: they're
              central to Michio Kushi's "macrobiotic" diet. Failing that, the
              Amazon ones from Eden Foods are the same brand as the health food
              store ones.

              Or, you could try my local Japanese foods store, which I've just
              discovered has an online operation now. These are *dramatically* less
              expensive.

              http://www.pacificeastwest.com/pipr.html

              I like the Nanki brand.

              >
              > > So if I wanted an AUTHENTIC umeboshi experience, I should be
              > > doing what?
              > >
              > > Should I just get the damned things off of Amazon??? LOL :) :) :)
              > > (geez, is there nothing you cannot get off of amazon?)
              >
              > Yes. I haven't seen geisha advertised there yet, but perhaps I'm not
              > looking in the right location ;)

              The upkeep will kill you anyway.
            • Solveig Throndardottir
              Noble Cousin! Greetings from Solveig! ... I believe that you are underestimating the availability of Asian grocery stores not to mention the health food stores
              Message 6 of 23 , Feb 4, 2007
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                Noble Cousin!

                Greetings from Solveig!

                >> I'm positive that outside of 3-4 select areas in the US, that
                >> asking for
                >> umeboshi would get you a completely blank look. Asking in anything
                >> but
                >> an Asian market in those select areas will probably get you a blank
                I believe that you are underestimating the availability of Asian
                grocery stores not to mention the health food stores and natural food
                stores already mentioned. Try just about any university town with a
                significant asian foreign student population.

                Your Humble Servant
                Solveig Throndardottir
                Amateur Scholar
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