I just found out we are down to our last two umeboshi:
Yumi quickly Skyped her mother to let her know of the situation. She will get some of her homemade umeboshi in the mail, but it being December I suspect it won’t arrive for at least two or three weeks.
How will we survive?
Yumi’s mother makes the best umeboshi in Japan. I have had umeboshi from all over Japan. Wakayama is said to be famous for their umeboshi, but the umeboshi I tried there was terrible in comparison. I may be a little biased but I don’t think so.
What is umeboshi? I wrote this for a future page at the new TJP:
梅 ume plum + 干 hoshi (boshi with phonetic change after ume) dry = dried ume plum
Umeboshi are usually roundish, red, wrinkled and about the size of a large grape. But there are many varieties found throughout Japan. Most are salty and very sour but some are a little sweet.
Usually umeboshi is eaten with rice. A cup full of rice only needs one umeboshi to be full of flavor. A common 弁当 bentou lunch box is called 日の丸弁当 hi no maru bentou which resembles the flag of Japan (a single umeboshi in the middle surrounded by white rice).
But perhaps most common is for umeboshi to be found in おにぎり onigiri. Onigiri are rice balls often wrapped in のり nori (seaweed). Pitted umeboshi can be placed in the center of the onigiri for a very scrumptious snack.
I might add, eating an onigiri (with umeboshi inside) with Jagariko snacks is excellent.