You may not have heard of this small, Japanese citrus fruit, but current research into the nutritional benefits of yuzu (Citrus junos Tanaka) may have you searching the produce stands at your favorite farmer’s market this spring. Roughly the size of a tangerine, sour tasting, and bright yellow in color, yuzu is still a newcomer in the U.S. Specialty shops and Asian groceries often carry it in the form of juices, vinegars, powders, and pastes that can be drizzled on foods, or slipped into recipes to add flavor and a nutritional boost to fish, vegetables, and pastas.
If you can find the fruit fresh, use the juice as a flavoring agent in marinades and dressings, and grate the rind to add to other dishes. Studies conducted over the past few years by the Department of Food and Nutrition at the Research Institute of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, have shown yuzu to be high in antioxidants and vitamin C, with the largest concentration of nutrients contained in the fruit’s tangy skin. Because vitamin C fuels collagen production, yuzu is finding its way out of the kitchen and into beauty products, including Kanebo of Japan’s luxurious topical concoctions, and Shiseido’s anti-aging skincare line. Order your own yuzu food products at gourmetsleuth.com. Or, better yet, buy a tree to plant in your garden through fourwindsgrowers.com.