Umezuke vs Umeboshi : The difference between the 2 pickled Ume plums

Ume (梅) is a tree that represents Japan’s winter. It has beautiful white blossoms and bears fruit. The fruit, Ume plums don’t become sweet even after ripening well and features having strong sourness.

Using Ume plums, we Japanese make various kinds of processed foods. Typical examples of such Ume products include gummies with Ume plum flesh, potato snacks seasoned with salt and Ume plum extract, Kari Kari Ume, and Umeboshi and Umezuke.

Especially, the last 2 processed Ume plums, Umeboshi and Umezuke seem to be widely known in overseas countries, though many Japanese aren’t familiar with the latter, Umezuke. This is because we Japanese generally consider Umezuke to be included in Umeboshi and it is often called just Umeboshi.

The Difference between Umezuke and Umeboshi

However, correctly, Umezuke is a food slightly different from Umeboshi, so today I want to explain the difference.

Umeboshi (梅干し)

Umeboshi are dried salted Ume plums. Traditionally, it is made by pickling ripe Ume plums in the salt whose concentration is 25 to 30 percent, then drying them for 3 days or so in the sun. The reason why traditional Umeboshi plums have high salt concentration is for enabling their long-term preservation. Since ripe Ume plums are naturally sour, the Umeboshi plums get extreme saltiness and sourness from the producing process.

Umezuke (梅漬け)

Except for not drying salted ripe Ume plums in the sun, the making process of Umezuke plums is the same as Umeboshi. In other words, Umezuke are just pickled Ume plums that are wet. By the way, Kari Kari Ume is similar to Umezuke, but made of unripe green Ume plums. Kari Kari Ume features its crisp texture, while Umezuke is soft.

Related Product
Organic Japanese Umeboshi Plums

(Reference page of this article : Wikipedia 梅干し )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. I want to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures and trivia.

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