TsukuBlog

A Local Perspective on Life in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

Cries of- SAKURA might be mistaken, but don`t let that discourage you from savoring the beauty of Tsukuba`s anzu (apricot) blossoms

Apricot (anzu) blossoms in Tsukuba

Apricot (anzu) blossoms in Tsukuba

 

 

anzu blossoms in Tsukuba

anzu blossoms in Tsukuba

Bark of the anzu tree

Not only are the blossoms of the anzu tree beautiful, but these trees which flower between the blooming periods of the UME (plum) and the Sakura, have had a very long history in Japan, after having been introduced to this country from its native  China sometime before the Heian Period (794-1192). While apricots also spread to the Caucasus and the Mediteranian and remain a major fruit  for consumption in those areas today, these fruits , long called KARA MOMO (peaches of the Tang, or Chinese peaches) in Japan, were originally prized for the medicinal power of their seeds (especially for respiratory problems). This curative  was called kyo-nin 杏仁, which is now read as annin, and which has become an ingredient of the very popular desert dish annin dofu.

Annindofu

Annindofu

Though the earliest extant use of the word anzu for apricot was in 1620, it was not until after the Meiji Restoration, Japan`s opening up to the West and the introduction of foreign varieties that apricot trees were cultivated for consumption as fruit ( and even today apricots are mostly used for making jam and wine), and  in fact anzu trees are not  very common in Japan today.

Anzu blossoms

annzuhatusyukka2-thumb1


Author: Avi Landau

Categories: Culture, Environment, Food, Gardens, Health, History, Life In Tsukuba

Share your thoughts