Peak Season: Yuzu

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Photograph courtesy kyotofoodie.com

Five years ago you’d have been hard-pressed to find fresh yuzu for sale in L.A. Heirloom citrus growers like Mud Creek Ranch now offer the lumpy Asian staple at farmers’ markets across the region. The Japanese treat yuzu like a lemon—sprinkling the zest atop veggies and fish or mixing the juice with soy sauce to make a condiment—but the taste is world’s away. The flesh itself is mouth-puckeringly tart, extremely aromatic, and skews more savory than sweet. The ones popping up this time of year are light orange in color; young green fruit are also used. In Japan the white blossoms are dropped into soups.