UPDATE UME : 11 DECEMBER 2023
We have started harvesting green Ume and will begin to fulfill pre-orders first. Dont worry, there is plenty more to harvest so I will still be posting them here as a product you can purchase (soon).
For your interest when making Umeshu, here is some information of the difference between white rock sugar and yellow rock sugar. You can purchase both of these rock sugar products in Asian Food Stores. Here in Wgtn, Yan's have good supplies.
I prefer using the yellow rock sugar. It's not an expensive product to purchase either ($3-$4 packet). To break up the larger rocks so they can fit into your bottle or jar neck, use a mortar and pestle. That is the best way to break them up easy, and without a mess all over your bench. You don't need to break up the larger rocks otherwise, as they will slowly dissolve anyway and it helps to weigh down the Ume fruit into the spirits of your choice.
White rock candy VS yellow rock candy
1. The production process is different. The white rock sugar undergoes multiple processes of purification and decolorization, and then crystallizes through the cooling process to become white rock sugar. The production process of white rock sugar is a bit more complicated. The high-quality white rock sugar is transparent, smooth and translucent. The traditional method of boiling yellow rock sugar is to squeeze juice, boil, slush, settle, and naturally ferment. Each step of making sugar requires a sugar master to grasp the time and heat with years of experience before it can be made. High-quality old yellow rock candy with bright colour
2. The ingredients used in the cooking are different. White rock sugar is made from white sugar as a processing raw material, while yellow rock sugar is made from sugar cane juice. It contains a high concentration of sucrose, which is a pure natural traditional sucrose taste!
UPDATE YUZU : 1 DECEMBER 2023
Yah! Great looking Yuzu fruit set starting to happen all over the orchard now. Such a lovely sight to see, you wont believe how happy we are to see this.
UPDATE UME : NOVEMBER 2023
Ume trees are looking great with good fruit development. We are anticipating to start harvesting green Ume from early-mid December.
Green Ume is traditionally used to make Umeshu Liquor.
We will let you know on NZYuzu Facebook page when orders are open to supply fresh harvested green Ume.
If you want to pre-order, PM me from the NZYuzu FB page.
Ripening yellow Ume harvesting usually starts in mid-late January through Feb/Mar.
Ripening Ume is traditionally used to make Umeboshi - a salt brined Ume food condiment (and tasty Ume vinegar as a by-product).
The traditional pink colour of Umeboshi is made by adding fresh or frozen red Shiso leaves and stems to the brine while the Ume are still curing in it. Shiso adds the pink colour, enhances flavour, and has natural anti-fungal properties.
Now is the time to start sowing red Shiso seed in your garden so you have it ready to use later on. Kings Seeds stock red Shiso seed.
Tip: let a few plants go to seed and they will naturalise in your garden spot.
Harvesting windows are all subject to weather conditions and colder weather tends to delay the fruit development, while warm conditions hastens development.
Here is a neat Ume Facebook interest group page you can join, NZ based ... https://www.facebook.com/groups/umeloverswellington/
Photo taken 16 Nov 2023
UPDATE YUZU : NOVEMBER 2023
Our Yuzu trees are in full spring blossom now. Special care and attention once the fruit starts to develop.
We start harvesting green unripe Yuzu early/mid April. Green Yuzu are traditionally used to make Yuzukosho, a fermented condiment paste made from green yuzu peel and salt. Blended together and cold cured in the fridge for aprox 6 months before you can start using.
Ripening Yuzu (turning yellow), we start harvesting early/mid May until aprox early July. Then the Yuzu season is finished for another year.
All fruit are hand picked and we have to wear strong long sleeved leather gloves to ward off the super sharp and strong Yuzu thorns!