- Pat Hammond
I swear this is my last post today. It's a wonder I'm not fired.
For months I've been looking for Ponzu sauce which is used at Nobu. It's made with the juice of an asian citrus called yuzu. Well, I bought something while in Queens that said it was a dressing using the juice of the yuzu but it's just not right. Today I ate some sections from a really huge citrus, smooth very green skin, called pomello and it tasted very much like what I remember as yuzu. Does anyone have a clue whether this fruit goes by both names? pat
The simple answer is no. Pommelo is not the elusive yuzu, However, since the japanese use the yuzu peel and secondarily the juice (which is sour, not sweet), there is likely some similarities with other citrus, peels which could substitute for fresh yuzu in recipes. Maybe pommelo resembles it in taste more closely than most. I did a lot of botanical research after our earlier exchange on yuzu and also looked for a commercial source for the fruit/plants/seeds and came up dry with US citrus growers. Here is one response from Four Winds Growers, a great dwarf citrus grower in Californer who is on the web and ships lots of interesting stuff mailorder: "Regarding Yuzu (Citrus ichangensis X C. reticulata var. austera). First of all we don't propagate this. It is a rather esoteric variety. Any material in the native countries would most likely be infected with Tristeza, a terminal virus. All of our propagation material are certified clean, from registered budwood from the Calif. Clonal Protection Program. Heavy, huh? All this to say, unfortunately good luck. I am mailing you some interesting background on Yuzu. I suggest you simply grow an Owari Satsuma mandarin as a substitute. Most likely the difference in flavor/aroma would only be recognizable to a select few."
My last gasp at scoring yuzu will be (I haven't gotten around to it yet) to scour the Japanese markets here including at Yaohan Plaza for the fruit itself. Then, to obtain seeds, though, since its a hybrid, they may not produce identical plants to the parent. If I ever succeed in this quest, I will post the results. Little did you realize what you started, Pat!
ps-I did wind up with 5 wonderful dwarf citrus trees, meyer lemon, kumquat, buddha's hand citron, key lime and, last but not least, a beautiful citrus hystrix (kaffir lime).
According to a (funny) article in the Dec.6 New Yorker, Yuzu juice can be ordered from Young Land Trading (718) 229-5535. It's even local! (to New Yorkers). The article is a humorous look at "foodie-ism" [chowhounds need not be insulted] and says the NEW HOT THING is Peruvian-Japanese -- hence the info about where to order Yuzu from.