Every time I eat umeboshi, the traditional Japanese rural food, it helps me recall my childhood memories. When I was a child, my grandma made umeboshi every summer. I followed her to the back hill to pick up the fallen green plums on the ground. We easily gathered a basket full green plums and I helped her wash the plum without soap. She salted the plums and kneaded the shiso leaves with salt. She wrapped the plum with red shiso leaves and neatly arranged them in a jar full of red shiso juice. Her soft palm was dyed in red shiso color. Umeboshi is an important food for Japanese people. I know that every country has its own culturally significant food, just like umeboshi is to people in Japan. You may have a similar memory to the one I have. I am not the only one.
Umeboshi has been a traditional preserved food for a long time, and it is usually placed on top of white rice in bento boxes. The tartness of the plums stimulate appetite and prevents food poisoning. So people often place them inside rice balls and boxed lunches.
Wakayama prefecture, located in Honshu (main island) is well-known for its large umeboshi harvest. The town of Minabe, Wakayama, in particular, grows more ume and produces more umeboshi than any other town in Japan. You can experience the umeboshi making program in Minabe town.
You can stay at a farmhouse to experience the authentic lifestyle of Japan.
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