This is a brilliant red, tart and tangy japanese vinegar made from the venerable umeboshi plum and shiso leaves.
The umeboshi plums are fermented: they are sprinkled with sea salt so the juice is drawn out and soaked in shiso leaves.
Shiso is an herb that is related to mint, but has a slight lemony taste. Besides adding a beautiful red color and flavor to umeboshi, shiso has strong antibacterial and preservative qualities
Now, although ume is acidic tasting (it is a vinegar after all!) , once it is in the body, it is actually alkalinizing (just like apple cider vinegar and lemon juice)
What does this mean? : these foods help to balance our bodies ph level which helps to reduce fatigue, stimulate digestion, and promote the elimination of toxins.
HOW TO USE?
Ume is great for sprinkling on greens after cooking (increases the bioavailablity of vitamins, minerals in these nutritious vegetables like kale, spinach and chard (makes them easier for your body to use those nutrients!)
An amazing flavour enhancer:
This is super versatile seasoning- really livens up salad dressings, marinades, also a fantastic flavour enhancer; it really kicks up a soup/stew/sauce if it is missing something.
And best of all for someone like me who loves savoury foods more than sweet, it is nice and SALTY!**
Ume is also pleasantly PUNGENT a flavour that we have little of in the SAD diet (Standard American Diet)
**one word of advice- when using ume you should eliminate the salt in a recipe, or reduce the amount of tamari or Braggs that you may be using.
Note: a little goes a long way, try a splash here and there (salad dressings, soups and stews are a great way to start- a splash or tsp at a time!
For sprinkling on greens after cooking (increases absorption of vitamins, minerals and is nice and salty!). This is also a fantastic flavour enhancer; it really kicks up a soup/stew/sauce if it is missing something.