Remember, I told you about my pathetic failure with one batch of umeboshi a few weeks ago… well when we came back to Tokyo I had a little surprise: I had a tasting set of umeboshi!!! Three types of red shiso umeboshi, with slightly different preparations and different kinds of plums all prepared by K. san. I think she was sympathizing with my failure… Her recipes are slightly different than mines so it was interesting to try them. One is very juicy and pink, the two others are more traditional, yet delicious and juicy. Of course they are umeboshi from the year nothing to compare with the 25year old umeboshi I got from my neighbor which are much drier. All to say that umeboshi may be something that seems first weird, too salty or too sour… But they are a very traditional Japanese food, rather unique, super healthy and side products have many virtues. I am sure that among the many varieties there must be one for everyone’s palate! If you don’t like the juicy and flush flesh jumbo ones, try the small and crunchy: karikari ume カリカリ梅. They are personally not my favorite but I like them too.
Also to get used with the taste maybe try ume flavored food. I use to like the ume potato chips, but I stopped buying potato chips 5 years ago… I’m sure there exist other snacks of the like: age mochi, kaki no tane with ume flavor, it can be a good introduction. I any case never buy cheap ones and those with non natural coloring or other ingredients than just salt and plum and shiso.