Green plum has attracted attention in both the industry and consumers, but this kind of culture and flavor coexist, and the value of ingredients with high playability has not been fully developed. So, is it possible that green plum will become the next ingredient to be exploded?
Referring to the Internet hot spot in recent months, I have to mention the advertising of guzao food. Now the ultra-high penetration yo Mei expression pack “are you okay?”?
At the same time, in the drinking of new tea with fire and a small number of fruits, green plum appeared more than once this year. In addition to the bottled beverage Qingmei Mountain Cloud and mist juice tea, which is jointly named by Xi Cha and menghualu recently, coco has also launched four new products: Qingmei bubble, Qingmei boiled wine, Qingmei American style and Qingmei green tea. The milk tea store in Chengdu, yuanzhenzhen, has launched Crisp Plum drunk oolong and Crisp Plum Kumquat Tea. The milk tea brand in Nanjing is thirsty and has launched Qingmei osmanthus wine, while Qinghuan in Shenzhen has positioned itself as “the first green plum tea in China”
Image source: Weibo @ Xicha, xiaohongshu @coco, xiaohongshu @ yuanzhenzhen
It can be fresh, strong, sweet, mellow, sour, sweet and delicious, with a unique flavor. The plum native to China has been cultivated for more than 3000 years. Plum producing areas are widely distributed in China. The characteristics and flavors of plum from different places of origin and varieties are different, and they are also eaten out by the Chinese people who love to eat.
Eat raw, make wine, cook vegetables, make sauce, boil tea, make preserves, make desserts… The green plum harvested in the late spring and early summer has been left in Chinese poetry and songs, as well as in Chinese bottles and cans.
According to foodaily’s global observation and research, in addition to China, green plum has developed a unique plum diet culture since it was introduced into Japan from China about 1500 years ago. Traditional techniques and innovative applications coexist. There are a wide range of products with plum as raw materials, which are common in the market and can be seen all year round.
Then, as a traditional food material, why can plum form a unique food culture in Japan, widely penetrate into the daily life of the public and be inherited? So far, what product forms and application ideas have been developed? As the country of origin of Prunus mume, what is the current situation of the application of raw materials of Prunus mume in China? What opportunities are there?
Cross the sea and take root,
How does green plum develop into a classic ingredient?
Poetry writes the meaning of flowers, from medicinal to edible, and green plum infiltrates into public life
As early as 2000 years ago, the medicinal value of Prunus mume was recorded in the Shennong herbal classic. The ancients found that green plum can be used not only to provide sour flavor, but also to generate saliva, relieve cough, help digestion and other good health functions. Therefore, green plum has become a food material for both food and medicine, and plum blossom has also become a common feature in ancient Chinese poetry.
The “plum” in ancient Chinese poetry also affected Japan. It is said that in the era of flying birds in Japan (about 700 A.D.), the medicinal dark plum processed from green plum was introduced to Japan and is still used in Japanese Chinese medicine.
In the era of Nara, Japan, influenced by the poetry of the Six Dynasties and the early Tang Dynasty, the Han poetry anthology “Ji Feng Zao” was born, and the word “Mei” that first appeared in Japanese documents appeared in this poetry anthology. During this period, green plum has been eaten as raw fruit like peaches, pears and other fruits, and it is also an elegant thing to watch plum blossoms. As many as 118 harmony songs about plum blossoms even appeared in the famous Japanese poetry anthology “Wanye Ji”.
Since then, as more and more people learned about the utility of green plum, the Salted Plum, which is the prototype of today’s dried plum, began to be eaten as an easy to preserve food and medicinal food. However, until the Edo period, this kind of plum products mainly appeared on the tables of nobles and samurai, or as military food for soldiers to resist fatigue and eat during the war.
In the Edo era, dried plum began to appear on the table of ordinary people, there were cries of selling dried plum in cities and towns, perilla pickled dried plum began to be popular, and various methods of pickled plum such as sugar preserved manna plum also appeared in this era.
At the same time, with the development and spread of herbal medicine, the efficacy of plum became widely known, and plum essence made from plum juice concentration also appeared in this period, becoming a common medicinal folk prescription in the public home.
In 1962, the ban on self brewed plum wine was lifted, and the output of green plum ushered in the first growth period
Since the Edo era, plum wine, as a method of preserving green plum, has been used by the public in daily life. In the late Edo era, plum growers at that time also processed and sold plum wine.
However, in the late Meiji period, the wine tax law promulgated by Japan banned all home-made wine making activities. It was not until the wine tax law was amended in 1962 that the ban on home-made plum wine was lifted, and home-made plum wine became legal again. The demand for green plum surged, and the production of green plum in Japan increased.
With the increasing demand for Prunus mume, the scattered Prunus mume producing areas in Japan began to appear a centralized trend.
At that time, Shuidao, as the main production area of green plum in 1970, was pointed out that the concentration of fruit tree planting areas was low, while there were planting areas with high distribution concentration in Wakayama County, Gunma County, Tokushima County, Fukui county and other counties, which made it easier to achieve large-scale production. Therefore, it became the object of the first agricultural structure improvement, and took measures such as introducing near modern agricultural facilities and improving the production system.
With the improvement of agricultural infrastructure, the improvement of agricultural production conditions, and the implementation of measures such as the improvement of varieties with higher and more stable yields, the green plum producing areas began to develop towards intensive agriculture, which also laid the foundation for the later development of green plum producing areas.
In the 1980s, the output of Prunus mume ushered in the second growth period, and the Prunus mume production area appeared a highly centralized pattern
From the second half of 1980 to the 1990s, with the pursuit of natural food and healthy food in the health trend and the development of catering industry, the demand for prunes increased, and green plum ushered in the second growth period.
In addition, the Crisp Plum “plum” (1971) developed by the green plum processing producer in qunma County, and the new products collectively referred to as “seasoned plum” (1974) and “bonito plum” (1977) developed by the producer in hegeshan county are also the existence of this period.
Image source: Wakayama formula, light, light
In the second growth period, the planting area of Prunus mume in all parts of Japan also increased, among which the planting area in Wakayama county increased most significantly, much higher than that in other counties, and the planting area in other counties did not increase much.
Since then, although the green plum producing areas in Japan are all over the country, a highly centralized pattern has been formed in Wakayama Prefecture. Up to now, hegeshan county still has an overwhelming competitive advantage over other plum producing areas. Since 1965, its plum harvest has been the first in the country, accounting for more than 50% of the national output.
In addition to the traditional pickled prunes and plum wine, the products with green plum as raw material or flavor have now covered many categories, such as beverages, snacks, desserts, condiments and so on, which are loved by consumers.
Plum wine or non-alcoholic beverage?
How many ways can you drink a plum?
Among the processed products of green plum, plum wine is the oldest drink. Plum wine has become one of the most familiar wines in Japan from the spread of plum wine, which was mainly used for preserving, to the upsurge after the lifting of the ban on self brewed plum wine.
According to the survey data of the Ministry of agriculture, forestry and Fisheries of Japan, 69% of Japanese green plum was used to produce dried plum and pickled plum in 2018, and 10% of plum was used to make plum wine and other beverages. In order to give full play to the charm of Prunus mume, wineries and beverage merchants also played with flowers.
Depending on the variety, year and base wine… There is always a plum wine for you
The most basic method of plum wine is to wash the green plum, dry it in the air, take the stalk, then put the raw materials into the sterilized container with a layer of green plum and a layer of rock sugar, and finally pour it into soju (commonly used in Japan) to seal it. Next, just leave all changes to time.
With the popularity of Prunus mume, Prunus mume growers have long begun to make plum wine for sale. Today, small and medium-sized distilleries in plum producing areas all over Japan and leading liquor companies have participated in the plum wine market, as well as a rich variety of plum. We have worked together to create the diversity of plum wine from the four elements of plum, base wine, time and sugar.
For plum wine, green plum itself is certainly one of the most critical raw materials to determine the taste of the product. Therefore, plum variety and maturity are one of the directions of plum wine differentiation.
For example, in many product descriptions of plum wine, the name of “nangaomei”, the most famous excellent variety in hegeshan County, can often be seen. Baijiahe plum in Gunma County, Fenghou plum in Aomori county and Nagano County, Yingsu plum in Nara County, Tokushima county and Dafen county are also excellent varieties that can be used to brew plum wine.
Xiaohori wine maker, a distillery located in Baishan City, Shichuan County, brewed “long live” Jiahe plum wine with the rare variety “hongyingmei”, a specialty of Beilu. This variety contains more amino acids than nangaomei, so it has a richer taste. After two years of maturation, the plum wine also has a rich plum aroma and clear taste. This reception is available in first class on ANA’s North American and European routes.
“Long live” Jiahe plum wine, image source: Wanjiale web shop
Plum wine brand “plum” uses nangaomei and Lucy plum with bright red flesh to make pink plum wine “plum pink” with the natural red pigment of Lucy plum flesh. The wine body presents romantic pink under the light, and the taste is fresh, sour and sweet. It is a gorgeous enjoyment from vision to taste.
Mume pink, image source: PR times
The ripeness of plum also affects the taste of wine. For example, the most commonly used is the green plum with low maturity. The plum wine produced in this state has a refreshing taste and a strong sour taste; The plum wine brewed by slightly mature plums with yellow color is more mellow, the aroma becomes thicker, and the sour taste will also weaken; Ripe plum skin turns red, which is considered to be able to produce top-level delicious mellow plum wine; Over ripe plum can produce delicious plum wine without losing the premium wine, but the quality control is extremely difficult.
Therefore, in the product description of plum wine, we often see the description of plum maturity such as “ripening”. Consumers can choose plum wine with different maturity according to their taste preferences. It is also fun to drink different kinds of plum wine.
For homemade plum wine, the brewing time is as short as about 3 months, as long as a year to a year and a half or even longer. From refreshing to mellow, time will give plum wine different flavors.
Therefore, ripening time can also become the selling point of plum wine differentiation.
For example, “the Choya single year” of Choya plum wine is a plum wine made by mixing a variety of plum wines that have matured for more than 1 year but less than 2 years. Using the ripe nangaomei of hegeshan County, you can enjoy the gorgeous aroma and strong sour taste of plum.
The “chiya aged 3years” is a plum wine mixed with more than three kinds of plum wine that have been matured for more than 3 years to less than 5 years, with a thick aroma like brandy. Whether you drink it alone or compare two kinds of wine with different ripening time, it has a different taste.
Two plum wines from Choya, photo source: nomooo
Similar to wine, grapes grown in different years will affect the taste of wine. Umeshu the amber, a plum wine brand, has put forward the concept of “vintage plum wine”. It will make a set of three kinds of plum wine brewed from plums harvested in 2007 / 2009 / 2011 respectively, and feel the unique personality of plums brought by different years through comparison.
At the same time, the plum blossom pattern representing Jizhou culture and the amber wine body on the bottle also increase the aesthetic feeling, which is suitable for personal use and gift giving. This wine has also won many awards at home and abroad in Japan.
Base liquor also has a great impact on the taste of plum wine. In addition to traditional Shaojiu and sake, brandy, vodka, whisky, tequila and other foreign wines can also be used to make plum wine. If skilled people are brave, it is feasible to even mix several base liquor together. For plum wine lovers, it is also interesting to experience the varied flavors created by different base wines.
For example, Mingli’s “Benge plum wine for a hundred years” uses white Jiahe plum with brandy and honey. The sour taste of green plum, the fruit aroma of brandy and the sweet smell of honey are mixed to produce a rich flavor. It is a kind of plum wine that has won an excellent victory at the National plum wine Conference – Tianman Tianshen plum wine conference.
Source: Official Website of Mingli liquor
When making plum wine, the sugar stacked with plum is also one of the keys to affect the flavor of plum wine. Traditional plum wine often uses rock sugar. The slowly melting rock sugar is conducive to the flavor precipitation in plum, and also makes the surface of plum not easy to wrinkle.
However, although rock sugar is the safest choice, if the method is appropriate, black sugar, honey, beet sugar and so on can also be used to make plum wine.
For example, the brewery of shigaki City, Okinawa, located in the southern tip of Japan, called “please blessing wine”, made plum wine “please blessing wine” by adding the traditional characteristics of Okinawa Ryukyu Islands sake soakami wine and Okinawa specialty black sugar to the South Koumi.
The unique sweetness of high alcohol and impact soakami and brown sugar, combined with the crisp acidity and aroma of Nanko plum, create a plum wine with Okinawa characteristics. This plum wine also ranked fifth in the Tianman Tianshen plum wine conference in 2010.
Image source: please make Yahoo with Fujiu! ショップ
Fragrant, sour, refreshing… There is always a green plum drink for you
Even if you don’t have the habit of drinking, you can still enjoy plum drinks of different styles.
For example, the traditional preservation method has the habit of making plum juice without wine. Now, bottled plum juice, concentrated plum juice products that need to be diluted and drunk, and alcohol-free plum wine can also be bought on the market, which can enjoy the rich fruity aroma of the original plum flavor.
Suntory’s alcohol free plum wine, picture source: Suntory’s official website
At the same time, plum has a unique refreshing and sour taste, and the rich citric acid is also considered to have the effect of restoring fatigue, so it is a very suitable fruit raw material for summer drinks.
For example, ITO garden launched a plum flavored “Japanese mango plum cool” for summer heatstroke prevention. Ito garden’s “Japanese fruit” series products aim to spread the unique sense of season in Japan through the flavor of seasonal fruits. Therefore, this summer heatstroke prevention product selects nangaomei, a representative plum variety in Wakayama Prefecture, and adds nangaomei juice. Therefore, even without adding essence, you can taste the delicious and fresh sour taste of plum.
At the same time, as a summer heatstroke prevention product, this drink adds sodium (50mg/100g) that is conducive to heatstroke prevention and citric acid that is anti fatigue, which is convenient for consumers to easily supplement the ingredients they need.
In addition, this product adopts “freezing packaging” suitable for cold storage, freezing and normal temperature storage, which can adapt to a variety of drinking scenes in summer.
Asahi’s classic carbonated beverage brand “Sanya” has also cooperated with Wakayama county to sell plum flavored “Sanya” plum since 2013.
This product adds plum puree ground from nangaomei pulp, which is softened by cooking, so it has a strong aroma of plum pulp; It also contains 1000mg citric acid to help restore spirit.
The aromatic and mellow aroma of nangaomei matches with carbonation, which is refreshing, sour and sweet. Combined with citric acid, it is very suitable for stimulating spirit and changing mood. This product has been highly praised by many customers since its launch in 2013.
Image source: Asahi beverage official website
How many ways to eat a plum?
“Fashionable” prunes that are both internal and external and keep pace with the times
As mentioned above, 69% of Japanese green plum was used to produce dried plum and pickled plum in 2018. As a traditional food in Japan, dried plum is the product that consumes the most raw materials of green plum. Under the inheritance of generations, the sour and salty taste of dried plum has become one of the most familiar flavors in our daily diet.
However, with the development of the times, prunes have also created new experiences through packaging design, product concept and new taste development.
For example, bamboocut launched “goludo prunes” according to the voice of customers, and packed 12 kinds of prunes selected from Japan into capsule packaging one by one, which not only meets the needs of consumers who want to taste all kinds of prunes, but also provides an interesting “selection experience”.
Image source: Kitada design
In terms of taste, these 12 types of prunes have different acidity and salinity. In addition to the traditional salty and sour taste, there are also options with unique flavors such as honey sweet prunes, pickled spicy prunes, citrus prunes, smoked prunes, etc. you can buy them individually or in combination with a variety of flavors.
On the package, this product is inspired by the cards and playing methods of traditional Japanese game songs. The first word of taste name is printed on the surface of the cover for consumers to choose, and interesting illustrations are printed on the back of the cover. Through this design, consumers can choose to be happy, have fun, and eat happily. It is very suitable for their own use, sharing with their families, and giving gifts.
Image source: Kitada design
New experience of Hefeng seasoning, plum flavor seasoning that plum lovers can’t miss
Dried plum has been used for a long time. This local classic flavor has been applied to Western condiments after modern innovation.
For example, Chubi’s classic product, the healthy and delicious oil-free sauce series, launched plum flavor, which uses plum meat with sour and refreshing plum vinegar and bonito soup to form a composite flavor. Since its launch in 2004, it has been widely praised for its plump plum flavor and the pulp feeling of plum meat, becoming the main product of Chubi’s “blue cover series” and receiving the support of people with high health awareness.
From traditional ingredients to classic flavor, plum becomes the classic inspiration of snack flavor
As a classic and fashionable flavor, plum is not only used in dinner scenes, but also used in snacks.
For example, as introduced by foodaily, one of the most popular classic flavors of Japanese national snack, KuoDa persimmon, is plum and perilla flavor.
Puffed foods such as potato chips and shrimp chips are also often used in this taste. For example, kalobi will launch new plum flavored products to plum lovers every year during the plum blossom opening period (January to February). This year, we chose three popular products at one go, and launched three new products: Plum flavored hard potato chips, mature Jizhou plum flavored shrimp chips and honey Nangao plum flavored vegetable chips.
In addition to salty snacks, plum is also used in Tangqiao. For example, kanro’s pure series of soft candies have introduced plum flavor. The rich fruit aroma complements the sour powder on the surface of the soft candies, and the color is also very cute. The package is a design of amulet. At the same time, the conventional heart-shaped fudge is mixed with plum shaped fudge. If you can eat it, you will be very lucky.
Image source: formula ピュレグミアカウント
In addition, green plum is also used in desserts, jellies and other categories.
As the country of origin of Prunus mume,
What opportunities does plum have in the Chinese market?
Plum in China is native to the South and has a long history of cultivation. It is widely distributed in Guangdong, Yunnan, Fujian, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Taiwan. It has a deep foundation in both culture and food history. It was once an important ingredient in the life of the ancients.
Distribution of different varieties of plum in China, photo source: xiaohongshumei wine and food laboratory
However, from the perspective of domestic products with plum as raw material, the application of plum in many packaging products or catering products often has strong regional characteristics. At present, the products with high recognition nationwide are still dominated by traditional plum products such as dark plum and plum. At the same time, Xiaobian learned from a plum wine lover that many domestic plum raw materials have been exported to Japan and other countries.
Whether in product innovation or in the construction of the industrial chain of origin, the plum industry urgently needs to be upgraded.
However, judging from the domestic brand trends in recent years, green plum seems to be receiving renewed attention from the food industry.
For example, in addition to the attempts in the new tea mentioned at the beginning of the article, the cutting-edge plum wine brand Meijian is promoting the “national beverage Renaissance”, and recently launched intangible cultural heritage white tea plum wine, which integrates ancient tea making and wine making techniques, as well as the immersive national style cultural event “Meijian night banquet”.
Image source: Weibo @ meijianqing plum wine
As a traditional green plum snack brand, yo yo Mei launched plum jelly, crisp green plum and other products. In June, together with Xi Xiaocha, it launched two new products, Camellia small green plum and Ningxiang small green plum, which added a whole yo Mei crisp green plum. It also held the “66 China Green plum Festival” during the grain in ear period to create a festival IP. This year, it worked cross-border with China National Geographic to shoot the “story of green plum season” to promote China’s green plum culture.
This year, xiaohongshu also launched the activity of # brewing a pot of green plum wine # to encourage users to share how to brew plum wine, the fancy drinking method of plum wine, and how to use plum wine and plum to cook and make desserts. At present, there are 10.068 million visitors.
Picture source: xiaohongshu food potato
It can be seen that green plum shows signs of concern in both the industry and consumers. In China, the value of this kind of food material with both culture and flavor has not been fully developed. Based on its extensive cognitive foundation and high playability, will green plum be the next treasure food material to be exploded? Welcome to leave a message and discuss in the comment area!
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