By thomas | September 29, 2007
One of the great things about living in or visiting a foreign country is that you get to try all sorts of foods that you’ve never tasted before. Sometimes a new flavor will become one of your favorites (miso soup!). Other times you’d rather avoid tasting the new food again if you can help it (katsuo-bushi for me). I’ve been here for awhile and I still discover new things at the grocery store. There are so many opportunities for new experiences here in Japan.
I have a sweet tooth, so new fruit is among my favorite things to try. The baby-orange biwa and the onion-shaped maroon ichijiku are two of my favorite discoveries (they’ll get write-ups soon enough, don’t worry). As long as they are not unreasonably expensive, I will usually grab new fruits up the moment I see them. That’s just what I did when I saw this fellow at the store the other day: the akebi.
The akebi (あけび) is the purple fruit of a wild akebia vine that grows on Honshu and Kyushu. It feels soft to the touch. It’s shape is roughly that of what you’d get if you tried to smush an apple into a banana-shape but gave up about halfway. The part you want to eat is the sweet whitish inside, although I’ve read that the purple skin and black seeds are also edible. For many Japanese, the appearance of the akebi fruit is a symbol that Autumn has finally arrived.
I haven’t actually eaten it yet, so I have no idea what it tastes like. When I got my akebi home, I looked it up on the internet to see how to eat it. Apparently, when you buy it in the store it isn’t all the way ripe yet. You’ll know when your akebi is ready to eat though, as it is supposed to pop open like a little Pac-Man mouth. Mine hasn’t popped open yet. I bought it last week, so I’m chomping at the bit. I hope I can chomp into my akebi soon!
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Topics: Fall | 9 Comments »Trackback