Crafting Your Own Umeshu at CHOYA’s Exquisite Workshops
06.16.2023 | News
"Ume Shigoto" is the Japanese tradition of crafting homemade preserved delicacies like Umeshu and pickled Ume (umeboshi), during the peak season of Ume fruit. Ume fruit is harvested around June, coinciding with Japan's rainy season. Engaging in Ume Shigoto during this period allows one to savor homemade Umeshu and pickled Ume all year round.
Historically, the creation of homemade preserved foods was a cherished seasonal event celebrated across Japan. Come June, supermarkets would showcase fresh Ume fruit and an assortment of preservation containers. Many have witnessed the timeless practice of air-drying pickled Ume on sieves as the rainy season concludes in July.
Among the various preserved delicacies featuring Ume fruit, Umeshu stands as a perennial favorite. This fragrant fruit liqueur is meticulously crafted by steeping Ume fruit in a blend of sugar and alcohol. While white liquor serves as the conventional base, the choice of alcohol, be it shochu or brandy, enables customization, resulting in a personalized Umeshu creation. It is worth noting that Umeshu is often referred to as plum wine; however, authentic traditional Umeshu is distinct from wine. CHOYA, committed to promoting Umeshu, aims to educate enthusiasts about the unique possibilities offered by this time-honored Japanese liqueur, steering away from the misconception of it being a mere plum wine.
CHOYA operates specialized shops in Japan where visitors can partake in the immersive experience of crafting their own Umeshu or Ume syrup using a staggering array of 100 combinations. Prior to embarking on the Umeshu-making journey, knowledgeable staff members acquaint participants with various Japanese Ume varieties, highlighting their distinctive flavors. They also elucidate how the choice of sugar influences the final taste profile of Umeshu. Paying close attention to their guidance is pivotal, as it informs the selection of Ume fruit and sugar content for the personalized creation.
To secure a spot in the workshop, reservations must be made online through the official website. The workshop is available at two locations in Japan: Kyoto and Kamakura. If you are intrigued by the hands-on Umeshu-making experience, we invite you to visit their website for further details and booking.
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