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Knowledge about Ume

Nanko-Ume, with its thin skin, small seed, and soft flesh, is the highest quality brand of Ume (Japanese apricot). Wakayama prefecture harvests 60% of the country’s Ume yield, and Minabe, a town in Wakayama surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the mountains of Kishu, is the biggest producer. Many people think of Umeboshi when Nanko-Ume is mentioned, but recently there has been a range of Nanko-Ume products including Umeshu, confectionary, and Ume juice.

What is Nanko-Ume?

  1. About Kishusan Nanko-Ume

    All Ume lovers know Kishu Nanko-Ume, the top Ume brand in Japan. This is because it has an utmost quality, with thin skin, small seed, and soft flesh. The Nanko-Ume originated in Minabe, Wakayama Prefecture. They are harvested in Wakayama Prefecture, and turned into various products which bring out the goodness of Ume, such as Umeboshi, Umeshu, Ume extract, Ume confectionery, and Ume juice, which are enjoyed by many in both in Japan and overseas.
  2. Nanko-Ume with white rice

    Japanese cuisine is currently gaining popularity globally for its health benefits and effects that promote a long life.
    Sushi, sukiyaki, and tempura are famous, but many Japanese citizens still believe that white rice with Umeboshi is the best. “An Ume helps one escape the difficulties of the day”. White rice and Umeboshi for breakfast will surely give you plenty of energy for the day.
  3. Why is Nanko-Ume popular?

    Kishusan’s premium Ume, “Nanko-Ume”. As these Ume are harvested after they fully ripen and fall naturally, they have a signature fruity fragrance and soft flesh. With an increasing variety of products, including Umeboshi, Umeshu, Ume juice, and Ume confectionary, the Nanko-Ume is now enjoyed in various forms, but also as high-quality gifts. Delicious, healthy, and safe Nanko-Ume supports everyone’s health and beauty.
  4. The birth of Nanko-Ume

    Minabe, Wakayama Prefecture is the hometown of Nanko-Ume, the highest quality Ume. The story of Nanko-Ume started during the Meiji Period when Sadagusu Takada found an Ume tree with large fruits, and started cultivating it as Takada Ume. In 1951, the “Best Ume Tree Selection Event” was inaugurated, and as a result of five years of research, Takada Ume was certified as the best type of Ume. The Ume was renamed Nanko-Ume, as the researchers were Mr. Takenaka and his student, and was discovered by Mr. Takada. The name Nanko-Ume was registered in Showa 40.
  5. Nanko-Ume’s main areas of production (Minabe and Tanabe)

    Wakayama Prefecture is the greatest producer of Ume, and produces 60% of the country’s plum yield. The town of Minabe is especially known as the biggest producer of Ume. With the holy grounds of the Kishu Mountains behind it, and the vast Pacific Ocean before it, Minabe has a Ume farm that is described as “A million Ume trees at a glance, and a fragrance that covers many miles”. The neighboring city, Tanabe, is also a famous place of Ume Nanko-Ume production. The delicious Umeboshi is created here, and delivered to your hands.
  6. Nanko-Ume is harvested by waiting for them to fully ripen and fall.

    The secret of Nanko-Ume’s deliciousness lies in waiting for the Ume fruit to fully ripen and naturally fall, together with its bursting sweetness. Its bright yellow color is the sign of its ripeness. Ripe, raw Ume has a beautiful contrast of yellow and red, and has a fruity fragrance. Every June, vehicles can be seen carrying ripe Ume to Minabe, bringing vibrancy to the town.
  7. Ume, including Nanko-Ume, are a type of fruit, so you can enjoy its fruity flavor

    You might have the impression that Ume are sour, but Ume belong to the same group of fruits as Japanese plums and the ansu apricot. The Nanko-Ume is especially fruity and juicy because they are harvested after they become fully ripe and fall naturally. However, the Ume cannot be eaten raw unlike other fruits, so our predecessors ate Ume by preserving them in salt.
  8. Wakayama Prefecture has the Largest Yield in Japan

    Wakayama Prefecture produces about 60,000 tons of Ume, a stunning 60% of the national production of Ume (about 100,000 tons). The climate of southern Kii Province (now Wakayama Prefecture and Mie Prefecture) is warm and stable throughout the year due to the Kuroshio Current, with heavy rainfall, and the days are long. This is perfect for Ume’s unique properties. Most of the Ume harvested in Wakayama Prefecture is Kishu Nanko-Ume, known as the premium type of Ume. The Kishu Nanko-Ume gradually became famous since the birth of Nanko-Ume 60 years ago, and is known all over the country.
  9. Nanko-Ume are subject to strict categorization.

    In the place where the Kishu Ume is produced, the Ume undergo a strict categorization of size and grade in order to maintain the Ume’s quality. There are seven sizes: 5L, 4L, 3L, 2L, L, M, and S. Then, there are four grades for quality (whether the fruits have scratches): A, B, C, and Others. The “Top Quality” mark is a sign that the Umeboshi is “Kishu Umeboshi”, the premium Umeboshi.
  10. Nanko-Ume goes perfectly with Japanese cuisine too.

    Many people find that they never get tired of Japanese dishes, like white rice and miso soup, grilled fish, Umeboshi (pickled plum), and eggs, even if they eat them everyday. Some even bring Umeboshi overseas so they can eat it during their vacation or business trips as an accompaniment for white rice. Umeboshi has plenty of citric acid, which helps beat fatigue and has esthetic benefits. Live healthily everyday with premium Ume, the “Kishu Nanko-Ume”.
  11. Nanko-Ume for the world

    Umeboshi has been eaten for a long time as traditional Japanese food. Umeboshi was created from our predecessors’ wisdom, which was to use salt to preserve Ume, as the fruit cannot be eaten raw. Now, there is a wide variety of Nanko-Ume products, such as Umeshu, Ume extract, Ume jelly, and Ume juice. When added to desserts, pasta, and French toast, it adds a refreshing aftertaste. Japan’s healthy Ume will soon be globally known.

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