Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kyō Ichi Rin

Day sixty-two: Kyō Ichi Rin / 京一輪
Ōsu no Sato / おうすの里, ¥294

Like most of its competitors, Kyoto pickle purveyor Ōsu no Sato is the kind of place where you can forge a small meal from the row upon row of sample trays. The shop has a particularly fine range of ume boshi (pickled plums--well, apricots actually) and I was assiduously working my way through them and starting to pucker up from all the brine, when suddenly I picked a pickle that, to my shock, wasn't salty. It turns out, Kyō Ichi Rin is a plum preserved instead in sugar and honey.

After all the sculptural sweets I've been scarfing lately, the "medical specimen" appearance of the wizened plum was momentarily off-putting, but the texture was perfect--neither tough nor mushy--and the flavor was syrupy but sharp, like concentrated plum wine.

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