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Author Topic: Wanted: Prunus Mume  (Read 558 times)

Oolie

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Wanted: Prunus Mume
« on: February 26, 2019, 01:51:14 PM »
I was interested in Ume if anyone grows it. Mainly for umeboshi and umeshu.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 02:00:03 AM by Oolie »

shaneatwell

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Re: Wanted: Prunus Mume
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2019, 05:54:58 PM »
I'm curious about this one too. I did fine one nursery with a good selection. Forestfarm.
Shane

SoCal2warm

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Re: Wanted: Prunus Mume
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2019, 05:11:18 PM »
Mainly for umeboshi and umeshu.
You might try Marukai market. If the one in San Diego doesn't have it, the one in Costa Mesa would have Choya Umeshu.

It has an intriguing deep flavor, like plum or apricot, a little bit deeply pungent like cough syrup, but overall it can be hard to enjoy more than a small amount continuously. More like an occasional delicacy, otherwise it's easy to grow sick of it, it's kind of borderline sickly sweet too.

The fruits in the bottom of the drink (preserved in alcohol) are very reminiscent of sour underripe apricots but with a little bit more flavor.

The pickled plums in a Japanese market also come from the same fruits, although they are salty.

Prunus mume is like a subspecies of apricot and is commonly used as an ornamental flowering tree. In fact "flowering plum" is more popular in China than flowering cherry is. The Prunus mume harvested for culinary use is closely related to the ornamental type, but is a special line of cultivars that were bred for their fruit. Using the fruits from the ornamental type of Prunus mume is probably possible but likely going to be inferior (fruit size/flavor) to the culinary type of Prunus mume, which can be very difficult to find outside of Japan.

I suspect that just using slightly underripe apricots is going to give a good approximation of what the culinary type of Prunus mume is like.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 05:19:48 PM by SoCal2warm »

Oolie

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Re: Wanted: Prunus Mume
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 01:25:34 AM »
Mainly for umeboshi and umeshu.
You might try Marukai market. If the one in San Diego doesn't have it, the one in Costa Mesa would have Choya Umeshu.

It has an intriguing deep flavor, like plum or apricot, a little bit deeply pungent like cough syrup, but overall it can be hard to enjoy more than a small amount continuously. More like an occasional delicacy, otherwise it's easy to grow sick of it, it's kind of borderline sickly sweet too.

The fruits in the bottom of the drink (preserved in alcohol) are very reminiscent of sour underripe apricots but with a little bit more flavor.

The pickled plums in a Japanese market also come from the same fruits, although they are salty.

Prunus mume is like a subspecies of apricot and is commonly used as an ornamental flowering tree. In fact "flowering plum" is more popular in China than flowering cherry is. The Prunus mume harvested for culinary use is closely related to the ornamental type, but is a special line of cultivars that were bred for their fruit. Using the fruits from the ornamental type of Prunus mume is probably possible but likely going to be inferior (fruit size/flavor) to the culinary type of Prunus mume, which can be very difficult to find outside of Japan.

I suspect that just using slightly underripe apricots is going to give a good approximation of what the culinary type of Prunus mume is like.

Of the domestically available Umeshu, I do enjoy Choya on occasion, but like you mentioned, it is a bit cloying, syrupy. In Japan I have sampled varieties with much more desirable qualities, floral and sharp, ones that really make you savor the flavor. I was hoping to find varieties with these qualities here, but I may have to make a return trip.

Apricot spirits or Anzushu are also quite popular in Japan, but they are distinct. I like them as well, but there are really good Ume out there that are worth hunting in my opinion.

I can buy really good Umeboshi at the local market, but I would like to grow my own.
Finding my favorite Umeboshi cultivar in Japan was easy, trees are sold at big box stores, but I have not been able to find Nanko here.

Shane:
Have you ever sampled the fruit from either of the varieties available from ForestFarm?

I'm interested in any unique qualities they possess.

shaneatwell

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Re: Wanted: Prunus Mume
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2019, 10:45:25 AM »
Not yet. Planning to buy a couple trees this spring.
Shane

Dimitry Fisher

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Re: Wanted: Prunus Mume
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 12:58:13 AM »
H-Mart in San Diego carries fresh unripe ume, presumably for pickling.  99 Ranch may have them as well.  The pack says "product of USA", so I don't think they are irradiated.  The seeds should be viable. 
All the best
Dimitry

Oolie

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Re: Wanted: Prunus Mume
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 03:28:32 AM »
H-Mart in San Diego carries fresh unripe ume, presumably for pickling.  99 Ranch may have them as well.  The pack says "product of USA", so I don't think they are irradiated.  The seeds should be viable. 
All the best
Dimitry

You can make Umeshu out of those as well, but without using cultivars selected for a specific use, the end result can sometimes be underwhelming.

I was hoping someone here had found superior selections that would yield superior prepared products (both pickles and alcohol).

shaneatwell

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Re: Wanted: Prunus Mume
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2019, 02:37:00 PM »
I did a bit more poking around. From these posts I think that both the Shiro Kaga and Bungo (sometimes 'Bongo') cultivars should be good.

http://yokosukafoodcorner.blogspot.com/2013/01/umeshu-plum-wine-buying-guide.html
https://norioonwine.blogspot.com/2010/02/plum-wine.html

Shira Kaga can be had from Dave Wilson (indirectly), Forestfarm or Bay Laurel, among many. Looks like Burnt Ridge sells scions.

Bungo is not quite as common. I see it at Dave Wilson and Raintree.

Many of the catalogs recommend planting both for better crops. The colors are similar so they should make spectacular rows.

« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 02:46:44 PM by shaneatwell »
Shane

SoCal2warm

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Re: Wanted: Prunus Mume
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2019, 08:24:26 PM »
I bought some Mume fruits at a Japanese market and still have the seeds. Better contact in the next few days, or I might be trashing them.

Keep in mind that they are unlikely to grow well in San Diego since, like other stone fruits, they probably have a chill requirement.

Oolie

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Re: Wanted: Prunus Mume
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2019, 03:53:29 AM »
I bought some Mume fruits at a Japanese market and still have the seeds. Better contact in the next few days, or I might be trashing them.

Keep in mind that they are unlikely to grow well in San Diego since, like other stone fruits, they probably have a chill requirement.

There are quite a few low-chill stone fruit out there, but I was mostly searching for selected cultivars.

Thanks guys, I will update this thread if I can pull anything on my end.

 

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