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Known for its rich fragrance and aroma, yuzu citrus is a staple in Japanese cuisine.

Used widely in Japanese cuisine, yuzu has taken the Western world by storm over the past few years. But what exactly is yuzu, and where does it come from?

Dating back to 1300 years ago, yuzu is believed to have originated in the upper river basin of the Yangtze River in China before making its way to Japan. Yuzu is a hybrid citrus of mandarin orange and ichang papeda, like a mild lemon. Yuzu is a difficult citrus to grow, making the fruit all the more valuable. With branches covered in extremely sharp thorns that often damage the fruit, the trees are difficult to maintain. Traditional growing practices do not bear fruit for 15-20 years.

Used both medically and in cooking, yuzu is prized for it’s rich fragrance and flavor. Like lemon, yuzu is rarely eaten as a whole fruit. Oftentimes the zest and juice are used to add citrus flavor and brightness to dishes. Add yuzu juice to beverages, marinades and sauces, or baked goods.

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