Yuzu citrons grown in the field are harvested from late July through early December; supplies typically last through March. Their peak market time is November, when the fruit are yellow. In Kochi prefecture, Japan’s largest yuzu producer, Tsugio Betchaku is working with other growers to establish a hothouse supply from spring to summer. He tends 100 trees that produce small, 50-gram fruit that are 5 to 6 centimeters in size.
“Green yuzu are essentially baby yuzu,” Betchaku says. “The yield—just three to four fruit per branch—is much lower than that of sudachi or kabosu. But the fragrance is special: it’s floral like yellow yuzu but tart, with a refreshing uplift.” There’s not much demand for green yuzu in home cooking now, but high-end sushi bars and restaurants seek out its unique fragrance. “If you see it, please give it a try,” he smiles.
1307 Kagami-cho Yamakita, Konan-shi, Kochi
(The Cuisine Magazine /June 2019 )