PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Yuzurikko - Preserving pesticide-free yuzu in Tokushima
Yuzurikko was founded by Sumie Misawa, a 66-year-old woman living in Tokushima prefecture, a region famous for its yuzu (a kind of Japanese citrus fruit that tastes like a mix between a lemon and a mandarin orange, but with a milder rounded flavor). It's one of the most popular flavorings in Japan due its versatility and dynamic citrus taste.
Sumie noticed that many pesticide-free yuzu were being thrown away or left unused in Tokushima prefecture, as many of the yuzu trees grow on steep mountain slopes and the aging yuzu farmers were no longer able to harvest them. She didn't want to see these precious fruits go to waste so she decided to help with the harvesting and to create her own yuzu products.
Yuzurikko harvests only the ripest and juiciest yuzu, which are then washed, cut, and cooked. The fruits are carefully separated by hand into their juice, flesh, skin and seeds. Every part of the yuzu is effectively utilized without any parts going to waste: the juice is used to make yuzu syrup, the outer skin and juice is to make yuzu marmalade, the flesh, juice and slimy parts around the seeds are to make yuzu jam, and the juice, outer skin and flesh are used to make yuzu tea.
Their main product is an award-winning yuzu miso which is named Yuzurikko, after the company, and is featured in our Creative Beginnings: Redefining "Wa" Care Package. Three of the awards were given by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and it is used in many first-class hotels and restaurants.
"My favorite way of eating this is to spread it on toast with a slice of tomato on top. I have it all the time whenever I'm on a business trip, I can't stop eating it!" - Yuzurikko, CEO
The yuzu miso has only three simple ingredients: pesticide-free yuzu, miso (rice, soy bean and salt) and beet sugar. It pairs well with many different dishes including rice, tofu and vegetables.
Yuzurikko also makes a Japanese yuzu spice called yuzu kosho, which combines chilis, pesticide-free yuzu and salt. It provides a spicy, citrus flavor to hot pots and many other dishes.
They also make a yuzu tea using the dried and roasted peels of the pesticide-free yuzu and sudachi, another famous Japanese citrus fruit.
Sumie and Yuzurikko have helped to save an industry while creating some delicious and beloved products.
Try their Yuzurikko's Cold Soba Noodles with Yuzu Miso Soy Milk recipe.
Company website: https://yuzurikko.jp/