Saturday, May 16, 2009
Making the Best Use Of Our Ume Plums (2)
As written in my previous post, mom already lost interest in making this drink, umeshu, so I made some with 1 kg of the ume plums harvested the other day. The recipe is, again, so simple: 1 kg green ume plums, 1 kg crystallized sugar and 1.8 litter liquor. The most widely used liquor is shochu (distilled spirit) called "Howaito Rikaa (White Liquor)" which is made from molasses, if I'm not mistaken. Because it is transparent and has no distinctive aroma or flavor itself, the liquor is favored for making fruit-infused liquor. (BTW, I didn't know until this year that the howaito likaa comes in cartons as well.)
The companies selling umeshu list so many health benefits. One of the online ads (Japanese) says that umeshu:
- improves blood circulation and prevents blood vessels and organs becoming fatty,
- improves appetite with several kinds of acids such as citric acid, malic acid and succinic acid,
- induces relaxation due to its aroma-therapeutic effect (by benzaldehyde)
- might have anticancer effect due to the substance (amygdalin) contained in the pits and brought out by the alcohol,
- helps liver function (by picric acid)
- fights acidity,
and so on and so forth.
I don't blindly believe all of them. Maybe they are not lies but the level of effectiveness could be ... you know. But even with 50 percent discount on the said effectiveness, still I feel more comfortable about having this drink than other artificially-flavored cheap alcoholic drinks. (Honestly, I have allergic reactions to many of the canned chu-hi stuff that cost around or less than 100 yen. My eyes start iching and nose stuffed up, sometimes along with bad sneezes.) In addition, I can have more fun with home made umeshu, checking on them every day to see how much sugar is melt and how the color changed, etc.