Description: Japanese are wild about any kind of product made with cherry blossoms (called sakura). Cherry trees bloom in April, and represent the first signs of Spring. For centuries, cherry blossoms were pickled in order to preserve them for occasions during other seasons of the year. As fresh cherry blossoms can be harvested only once a year, Japanese people started pickling them in salt and ume plum vinegar in order to be able to enjoy the sakura flavor throughout the year. In the old days, many households with gardens and cherry trees used to make their own pickled sakura. Nowadays most people will buy salt-pickled sakura flowers from one of the few companies that still make this product.
Light and smooth, this Sakura Tea is mildly salty with a floral aftertaste and plum undertones. A transparent pink expands in the cup revealing a flowery aroma with hints of the sea. This tea is made by preserving cherry blossoms in salt and plum vinegar. Sakura tea has a very authentic taste of Japan, with a subtle, flowery scent and flavor. When the tea flows over the palate, the first sensation is the saltiness, which might be a bit unusual, after which the beautiful flowery fragrance opens up in the mouth. The unique flavor of sakura is unforgettable, like the flavor of a rose. A nice, subtle aftertaste remains for a few minutes.
Sakura tea is not only a must for the cherry blossom season, but a wonderful drink for a moment of peace and pleasure.
How to use:
1 ) Make tea
The most common way is to take one or two flowers for each cup of tea and remove as much salt from the flowers as you like before using them. Pour hot water over the flowers and you get a light-colored tea that has a faint scent of cherry blossoms and an intense flavor. Although edible, the flowers in the tea are usually not eaten.
For a gentler flavor, it's best to first soak the blossoms in warm water for five minutes. You then put one or two of the flowers in a tea cup and pour hot water onto them. The flavor and saltiness can be adjusted by adding some of the salty soaking water with a spoon.
2 ) Mix with rice
Three bowls of steamed cooked rice can be mixed with about 10 blossom to produce a delicious meal. Shake the salt from the cherry clossom before using them. Cold dishes can also be made with the salted cherry blossom Obenton (lunchbox) is ideal to use.
3 ) Use with congee
The salty cherry blossom can be cooked, as it is, with congee. When cooked together with rice, the tea not only creates a beautiful color contrast but the rice, turning it a beautiful pale pink, but the rice also absorbs the flowery aromas of the cherry blossoms. It can also be used as decoration by sprinkling on top of congee in the cooking utensil. The color and fragrance of the cherry blossom can be enjoyed both visually and delicious flavour.
4 ) Use with marinated food
Put the cherry blossom in boiling water for 20 seconds when salt has dissolved before mixing it with marinated food or vegetable.
5 ) Add & mix with other ingredients for baking cookies, (and) jelly
Nowadays, chefs and home cooks alike are getting more creative, and pickled sakura also made their way into other both savory and sweet dishes.