Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Day twenty-two: Jelly / ゼリー

Left: Aosakura / 青桜
Kameya, 3-26-2 Yoyogi, Shibuya, ¥230
Right: Edomomoyo / 江戸桃よ

Nihombashiya /日本橋屋 in Ueno Atré, ¥315

My motto for this summer might as well be “Another day, another jelly,” and judging from the variety available, I’m not alone.

While not a native fruit, “pea-chi” has become a staple flavor for foods ranging from milk drinks to gum. Edomomoyo is a mid-range jelly (some cost up to four times as much), filled with diced peach. It tasted both hauntingly familiar and slightly disappointing, as if I’d had it for a snack in kindergarten.

is flavored with ume, often translated as “plum” but in fact a Japanese apricot. I’ve never eaten one fresh but I’ve had them pickled, fermented, fried, macerated, powdered, and flecked with gold leaf. While I dislike very few of these formats, I find that ume lends itself especially well to summer jelly. Flavored with umeshu liquor, it’s light and highly perfumed, and the tender little ume lurking at the bottom lends some meatiness to the silky jelly. A more pedestrian but still pleasant version is also available in three-packs at the ¥100 shop.

No comments: