About Ume (Japanese apricot)
Since ancient times, Ume (commonly known as Japanese plum, pronounced as "oo-meh") have been regarded as a flower that can withstand the cold and announce the coming of spring. As a healthy and traditional food, they are dear to Japanese people’s hearts.
Ume (scientific name Prunus mume, or Japanese apricot in English), are part of the rose family. They are a fruiting deciduous tree. Perhaps most famous for their sourness, Ume are rich in citric acid and the other beneficial compounds, making them a popular health food. Among the more than 300 varieties of Ume, about 100 are edible, however they must be processed into pickles or alcohol before they can be consumed.
There are various theories about the origin of Ume trees, but it is widely agreed that they came from China. First enjoyed for their flowers, their fruit came to be prized as pickles or medicine as people learned how to process and use them.