Unique Mooncakes At B.I.G.’s Mid-Autumn Fest

18

September, 2018
Unique Mooncakes At B.I.G.’s Mid-Autumn Fest
We’re rubbing our hands together with glee at the thought of indulging in chatty catch-ups over mooncakes and tea. With the Mid-Autumn Festival,around the corner, we’ve stocked up on all varieties of mooncakes for you and the family to indulge. While we adore classic traditional mooncakes, here’s a little taste of our featured products that offer bold and unique renditions of this festive delight.
1. Setapak Teochew Yam Paste Mooncake
This landmark restaurant has proudly been serving up Teochew dishes since 1912, with customers still flocking over for their famous mooncakes and a scrumptious meal. These yam mooncakes have a pastry-like outer-skin and are a yummy and healthier alternative to traditional lotus seed paste mooncakes.
2. JDX Black Tea Hokkaido Milk & Snowy Bird Nest Custard Mooncakes
Jiu Ding Xiang (JDX) has built a formidable reputation as the go-to supplier of Chinese tea for over 1500 restaurants in Malaysia – a long way from the humble beginnings of Mr Jong Yew Hock and Madam Choo Yeong Lin delivering boxes of tea leaves to the community in a yellow van. With the help of a dedicated research team, the company constantly seeks ways to reinvent the quality and flavours of their tea, and they offer a unique mooncake range made with fresh tea extracts. We guaran-tea you’ll enjoy their distinctive flavour
3. MX Lava Custard Mooncakes & Snow Skin D24 Premium Durian
These highly-anticipated treats are made by Hong Kong based, a prominent food & beverage company comprising of a diverse range of eateries and festive products. Their award-winning mooncakes come in many flavours and are in high-demand, especially during the festive season. Durian-lovers can now rejoice and savour their rich D24 Premium Durian mooncakes, but the Lava Custard mooncake with its luscious custard centre is no slouch either.
4. Casahana Nasi Lemak Mooncake
Everyone’s favourite halal mooncake is back! Casahana is a key brand of HYT Food Industries that specializes in oriental pastries and mooncakes which have garnered a loyal fan following over the years. Their Nasi Lemak Mooncake is a popular favourite and for good reason – the balance of spicy sambal with lotus seed paste infused with sweet coconut milk really takes the cake (literally). Needless to say, it is a must-try.
Get your hands on these beauties while they’re available! It’s all happening at B.I.G.’s Mid-Autumn Festival until 24th September. Check out fair activities at https://big.com.my/latest
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Our Favourite Noodle Dishes By Region

15

September, 2018

Our Favourite Noodle Dishes By Region

Happy Malaysia Day! Like us, you probably enjoy utilizing weekends to take a drive out either to Ipoh, Penang, or southward to Johor to gorge on famous local delicacies. Food hunting is one of the many privileges we enjoy as Malaysians as we are spoilt for choice. It is quite difficult to categorize particular foods as ‘the best’ (pretty much everything we eat is ‘best’), so we narrowed it down to our favourite noodle dishes by region.

Northern Peninsula: Penang Asam Laksa

We’re well aware of how seriously Penangites take their food, especially when it comes to noodles – so after much deliberation, we settled on Asam Laksa as our pick due to its wide-reaching audience and cross-cultural roots. Believed to have evolved over many generations of Peranakan Nyonya (Malay-Chinese) influence, this dish generally consists of rice noodles, vegetables, and shredded fish nestled in an uber-flavourful fish broth. The fish broth is made from spices, lemongrass, and tamarind peel which gives this dish its distinctive taste that leaves you dreaming about it for days afterwards. Add a mound of fresh vegetables, herbs, prawn paste, and a generous squeeze of fresh lime and you have the quintessential Malaysian treat. Locals of all races and international food enthusiasts travel from far and wide to Penang for a bowl of this zesty slurp-explosion.

Central Peninsula: Ipoh Hor Fun

Malaysian comfort food at its best; picture yourself in a tank top and short pants enjoying a steaming bowl of noodles while sipping on a cup of teh panas (hot tea). Your food trip is not complete until you’ve tasted the magic of kai see hor fun, known to many simply as Ipoh Hor Fun. The charming dish mainly consists of flat rice noodles in a prawn and chicken broth, topped with shredded chicken, sprouts, and sliced prawns. Be prepared to line up because this savoury soup tends to run out in a flash (go early!). There are many hawkers that have become famous for their soup, some with clear broths and others that are thick and creamy – but all of them offer quality versions of this heritage dish. Well worth a trip to the laid-back food haven town of Ipoh, Perak. Almost all hor fun stalls stand next to a decent Ipoh Chicken Rice stall, so make sure you get some of that too!

Southern Peninsula: Johor Beef Noodles

Move aside Vietnamese noodles, pho Johor Beef Noodles is here to rule the roost. Many Malaysians look forward to taking a trip down south Peninsula for a wholesome bowl of beef noodles. Signature versions of this dish include chewy, tender cuts of beef sitting on a pool of rice noodle soup, sometimes accompanied by omasum (stomach), tripe, and beef tendons, along with chopped vegetables. What gives this dish its unforgettable hearty taste is the special beef broth, cooked for hours in beef bone and herbs. If you haven’t already, be sure to get some beefore they run out (safer to go before lunch time).

East Malaysia: Sarawakian Kolo Mee

The pride and joy of Sarawakian natives, Kolo Mee is quickly becoming an international star as word of its deliciousness has spread through Asian food courts in London, Melbourne, and other major cities. Kolo Mee looks very much like Wan Tan Mee, another local favourite, but it is often regarded as less salty and offers a combination of both minced and barbeque marinated meat. Non-halal versions are also available which are known as ‘Mee Kolok’ or ‘Mee Sapi’. If you can’t find a Kolo Mee stall near you, it is a great idea to take a trip down to beautiful Sarawak and enjoy it just the way the locals do.

Fancy your very own bowl of noodles? You could save a trip and try cooking it at home! We’ve sourced the finest local ingredients that are ready and waiting at Malaya Kitchen, so drop by B.I.G. to gather everything you need. In the spirit of Malaysia Day, we wish you happy cooking!

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5 Guilt-Free Desserts You Can Innocently Enjoy

9

September, 2018

5 Guilt Free Desserts that you can Innocently Enjoy

There is a time and place to feel guilty about reaching for desserts, but it is not now nor here – especially not if you’re mixing things up with healthy organic ingredients from our B.Organic shelves. Natural sugars are easily broken down by our digestive systems so you don’t have to think twice, just take your sweet tooth’s advice (according to us, your sweet tooth is also a wisdom tooth). Here are five dessert recipes you may want to try at home:

  1. Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes (Dye-free, Grain-free)

Recipe from Deliciouslyorganic.net

We absolutely love red velvet cupcakes, and the best thing about making them at home is the freedom to control the amount of sugar in each bite. Perfect for a cosy afternoon with a cup of tea.

Prep Time: 20 min  Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
1 cup roasted beets, chopped
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups finely-ground almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder (non-alkalized)
3/4 cup maple sugar or organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs, room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the frosting:
3/4 pound mascarpone or cream cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw honey
1 cup heavy cream, whipped until soft peaks form
Dried raspberries, crushed (optional)

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and adjust the rack to the middle position.

2. Place the roasted beets, vanilla and buttermilk in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour the beet mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, maple sugar or cane sugar, baking powder, eggs and butter. Whisk until smooth, about 30 seconds.

3. Divide evenly into a lined muffin tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until baked through. Cool completely.

4. Whisk mascarpone or cream cheese, vanilla and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer until smooth. Using a spatula, fold in whipped cream. Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting and sprinkle with dried raspberries, if using. Best served the day they are made.

  1. Vegan No-Bake Cookies (Recipe from Eatingwell.com)

These cookies are egg-free, using a mixture of almond butter and coconut oil as a binder. Feel free to experiment with different natural nut butters according to your preference.

Makes: 22 cookies  Prep Time: 25 mins Ready In: 2 hours 25 mins

Ingredients:

¾ cup almond butter or natural peanut butter

⅓ cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)

¼ cup coconut oil¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

1¾ cups rolled oats (preferably gluten-free oats)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅛ teaspoon salt

Instructions:
1. Heat almond butter (or peanut butter), brown sugar, coconut oil and almond milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until the oil and sugar have melted. Stir in oats, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Let cool slightly.

 

2. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press into 2-inch circles. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

To make ahead: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

  1. Dairy-Free Chocolate & Nut Cookies (Recipe from JamieOliver.com)

Jamie Oliver calls this “An amazing cross between crunchy cookies and gooey brownies” – you don’t need to say much else to get busy baking.

Total Time: 20 mins plus cooling  Makes: 20 servings

Ingredients:

150 g pecan nuts
150 g hazelnuts
400 g icing sugar
100 g cocoa powder
½ a teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
4 large free-range eggs

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas 3. Line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2. Toast the nuts in a large frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes, or until golden. Leave to cool, then roughly chop.

3. Sieve the icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl, then add the chopped nuts and vanilla paste.

4. In another bowl, separate the egg whites (save the yolks for another day), then whisk for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the dry mixture until combined.

5. Scoop ½ a tablespoon of the mixture onto one of the prepared trays, then repeat with the remaining mixture, making sure you leave a rough 4cm gap between each spoonful (you may need to do this in batches if your trays aren’t big enough).

6. Place in the hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until crisp on the outside, but still slightly gooey in the middle.

7. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

  1. Pear & Blueberry Crumble (Recipe from Goodness.com.au)

Warm desserts are great to follow a scrumptious dinner and work just as well as a dessert snack on its own. We can’t wait to savour the natural sweetness of the fruits used in this charming dish.

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cook Time: 20 mins
Ingredients:

Fruit Filling

4 ripe medium pears, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 tbsp Organic Brown Rice Syrup
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Organic Cinnamon Powder
Pinch of Organic Nutmeg Powder

Crumble Topping

1/2 cup Organic Shredded Coconut
1/2 cup Organic 5 Grain Goodness
1/3 cup Pecans, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Organic Raw Almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Organic Natural Almond Meal
1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil, melted
1 tbsp Organic Brown Rice Syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 170°C and place 4 standard dessert ramekins on a baking tray.
2. Place the cubed pear, brown rice syrup. lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir well to combine.
3. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring often just until pear has softened. Take off the heat and stir in the frozen blueberries.
4. Distribute the pear and blueberry mixture evenly into the 4 ramekins (approximately 3/4 cup each).
5. To make the crumble, add all of the crumble topping ingredients to a food processor. Process until just combined, so that the nuts have broken down a little further but are not finely ground (this is to keep a delicious chunky texture!)
6. Evenly sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top of each pear-filled ramekin.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven, or until topping is beautifully golden.
8. Serve warm with a generous dollop of dairy-free coconut milk yoghurt.

  1. Chocolate Turmeric Caramel Cups (Recipe from Foodbabe.com)

Vani Hari a.k.a. Foodbabe is an authoritative voice on eating healthy, after having overcome personal health struggles during adolescence. She finds creative ways to incorporate healthy ingredients in her recipes, in this case the star of the show is turmeric. Enjoy the sweet satisfaction of this wholesome treat.

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cook Time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

⅓ cup cashews, soaked at least 4 hours
4 dates, pitted
1 tablespoon almond butter
3 tablespoons coconut milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons coconut flakes
6 ounces dark chocolate, melted

 

Instructions:

1. Place all of the ingredients except the chocolate in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Set aside.

2. Place 8 cupcake liners in a mini cupcake pan. Fill each liner with 1 heaping teaspoon of melted chocolate. Place pan in the freezer for 5 minutes to harden.

3. Once hardened, place 1 teaspoon of turmeric caramel in the center of each liner. Top with 1 heaping teaspoon of melted chocolate. Place back in the freezer for at least 15 minutes to harden.

Which one of the above is your favourite? Gather all your organic ingredients from the B.Organic section, where you’ll find a range of ingredients with similar uses that can be substituted for a different flavour, eg. use Gula Mets Coconut Nectar in place of organic cane sugar. Have fun shopping! Visit www.big.com.my/latest for featured organic products.

Experience a complete grocery adventure through our impressive array of specialised ingredients and gourmet products at Ben’s Independent Grocer today!

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A Closer Look At Local Farming

28

August, 2018

A Closer Look At Local Farming

The wealth of information (and misinformation) about food on the web has made society very conscious about diet and food sources. Any article mentioning GMOs or ‘mass agriculture’ can make you stare at the food at the end of your fork and wonder how it got there. In line with our Local Merdeka Fair, here’s a little peek into the B.I.G. world of sustainable agriculture to provide some insight behind the produce in our Botanical section.

We said hello to Julian Roe, Managing Director of Genting Garden which operates farms in Genting (Unit Hydroponik) and Cameron Highlands (Bertam Valley and Tanah Rata). As with all our farming partners, we had to stop ourselves from saying ‘Hey how’s it growing’.

Farming Methods- Gather, Rinse, Peat

http://www.canna-uk.com/what_makes_good_quality_soilless_growing_medium

Julian explained the concept of Soilless Culture; a method of farming that does not use soil, but rather a specially curated solution of nutrients mixed with water. Certain crops like lettuce are grown in a recirculating flow of Nutrient Film Technique (NFT), continuously flowing past the roots of the crops to maintain optimal levels of nutrients, water, and oxygen. A great benefit of soilless-growing is that nutrients are essentially chosen by the plants according to their needs, as opposed to leaking into soils and waterways (which happens with traditional farming methods).

Fruiting vine crops like tomato, capsicum, and cucumber are also grown without soil, using a coco peat bag culture. Peat is a growing material consisting of semi-decomposed vegetable matter, whereas coco peat is made using dried coconut husk fibres. Using this method, the roots of the vine crops anchor into the coco peat bags while being irrigated by an automatic drip solution. The automatic drip is connected to a computer network that feeds it information directly from the weather station. With technological help, you get an organic, safe, and eco-friendly way to grow crops.

Farming Challenges – When the Growing Gets Rough

Extreme and irregular weather patterns can cause shock to the plants’ growing process, therefore maintaining an ideal environment is very important. Sufficient human resources are required for this as the act of harvesting crops is very labour intensive. Pests need to be expelled and unwanted diseases need prevention to ensure all-year round production of quality crops.

To stop things from getting veggie serious, Julian’s farming company adopts the latest in farming technology, cooperating with MARDI, The Department of Agriculture, and University Putra Malaysia (UPM), where research is carried out for the industry-wide benefit of Malaysia’s horticulture.

Sustainable growing practices are implemented under the supervision of expert managers, such as growing crops in enclosed netting and greenhouse cladding for protection. Wastage is also reduced to a minimum by harvesting according to order, and any extra produce is divided amongst employees and the local community at no charge.

Sow What Do We Reap?

The types of produce that are freshly harvested and shipped daily to our grocer include vine crops such as heirloom tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Capsicum, Palermo Sweet Peppers, Cocktail Amoroso Tomatoes, Gourmet Cherries, and Japanese Cucumbers. There are also a variety of herbs like Peppermint, Basil, Lemon Thyme, Marjoram, Coriander, along with salad leaves such as Salanova Lettuce, Green & Red Corals, and Baby Romaine. We did not ask how workers get paid if there’s no celery.  

We hope we’ve planted some seeds of knowledge that’ll enrich your vegetable-buying experience the next time you’re at B.I.G.! Don’t miss the excitement of our Local Merdeka Fair while it’s around (happening until 2nd September) – more details here https://bit.ly/BIGLatest    

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5 Home-Grown Products You Should Know About

24

August, 2018

5 Home-Grown Products You Should Know About

Merdeka Day is approaching and we can almost taste the patriotic joy in the air, especially when we’re snacking on our favourite local products! Home-grown and proud of it, these artisanal creations are well on their way to building an international fanbase. Here are 5 (among the many) local products that are making a B.I.G. impact:

1. Nuts Enough

Nut-lovers ahoy! It’s not always easy to find a delicious nut spread, but we can vouch that these tasty nut butters will cashew by surprise. Nuts Enough produces healthy natural nut spreads that are vegan-friendly, heart-friendly, packed with vitamins and loaded with the goodness of plant-based proteins. Our favourite is the Maple Cinnamon Almond Spread which is so good that we’re nuts enough to eat it on its own. Check out their full range of products at www.nutsenough.com FB: @nutsenough IG: @nutsenough

2. Michelle’s Artisan Fruit Spread

https://www.facebook.com/102589153198568/photos/a.112750945515722.1606.102589153198568/112750948849055/?type=3&theater

From humble beginnings of making homemade jams without artificial preservatives for friends and family, these 100% natural fruit spreads have since amassed a loyal customer base who enjoy them with bread, pastries, and even as ice cream topping! Try their creative and flavourful combinations of Banana & Vanilla Bean, Papaya & Orange Peel, Pineapple & Passionfruit, and many more! Get yours and spread the good word.

Website: https://michellefruitjam.webs.com/ FB: Michelle’s Artisan Fruit Spread IG: @michelle.artisanfruitspread

3. Gula Melts

http://www.malaysianflavours.com/2017/07/gula-melts-coconut-nectar-sugar.html

Gula Melts produces 100% natural Coconut Nectar & Coconut Nectar Sugar by boiling the sap of the coconut palm flower until it becomes a thick, sticky aromatic nectar. Its distinctive taste and myriad of health benefits has made it a popular alternative to conventional sweeteners in just about every kind of food and beverage we consume daily. Get some recipe ideas at their webpage: http://www.gulamelts.com (FB: @gulamelts IG: @gulamelts)

4. Huey n Wah’s Marshmallows

https://hueynwah.my/product/gourmet-marshmallows-variety-box/

Who can say no to marshmallows? Not us, and especially not to these guilt-free treats from Huey & Wah. These guys take pride in creating fluffy gourmet marshmallows made from the finest ingredients without using artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. Whether you like to melt them in hot chocolate or eat them on their own, enjoy pairing different flavours with your drinks and desserts! Read the FAQ section of their website for drink-pairing ideas: https://hueynwah.my/ FB: @hueynwah IG: @hueynwah

5. Pichacotti by Picha Project

https://firstclasse.com.my/category/people/page/4/

Serving up delicious food for a noble cause – The Picha Project is a social enterprise that empowers marginalised groups in Malaysia by catering and delivering authentic traditional meals inspired by 5 different cultures (to date). Named after the son of the first refugee family taken under their wing, Pita (pronounced Pi-cha), this organisation harnesses and nurtures the cooking skills of refugee parents which in turn provides income opportunities to rebuild a new home and educate their children.

In line with their cause, you can buy jars of Pichacotti (biscotti) at B.I.G., available in 2 flavours – Cranberry & Almond and Chocolate Almond, made lovingly by Mona and Sakina (respectively), two mothers working towards a better life for their families. Lend your support and find out more at http://www.pichaproject.com/ FB: @thepichaproject IG: @thepichaproject

Go Local Lah at our Local Merdeka Fair (23rd August – 2nd September) and show some love for your local artisans! More details on fair happenings here https://bit.ly/BIGLatest    

Experience a complete grocery adventure through our impressive array of specialised ingredients and gourmet products at Ben’s Independent Grocer today!

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Getting to Know Japanese Premium Fruits

4

August, 2018

Getting to Know Japanese Premium Fruits

Fruits have long been the pride and joy of local agrarian culture in Japan. Over many years, Japan’s ideal climate perpetuated the growth of melons, persimmons, nashi pears, ume, grapes, peaches, and a myriad of other tasty fruits that we love and enjoy today. According to an article by Takasago.com, fruits are seen as a luxury rather than a necessity in Japan, as there an abundance of vegetables to cater to nutrition needs as result of frequent rain and clean water for irrigation. But how do you produce fruits that reach similar prices of a jewelled necklace or wedding ring? How does a black-skinned Densuke Watermelon sell for 650,000 Yen (USD 5858) at a 2008 local Japanese auction?

The pricing of these fruits embody the painstaking care and unique farming methods implemented to cultivate them. To give you an idea of how stringent these farming processes can be, consider the growing-life of the Japanese Musk Melon. New strains of melon seeds are carefully selected and planted in optimally temperate and humid soil bedding. When flowers start to form on the vine, weak buds are pruned while the rest are manually pollinated. Only a single best young fruit on the vine is allowed to grow to completion – the rest are discarded to ensure that remaining fruit absorbs all available nutrients.

Extra measures are taken to nurture and keep the fruit happy such as a protective cone-shaped ‘hat’ and paper wrapping which prevents sunburn, encourages supple skin, and promotes even colouring. String is tied to prevent ripe fruits from dropping off, and some farmers go so far as to massage the fruits to enhance sweetness and taste. When the pampered melon is finally ready to be harvested, it is graded on shape, sweetness, aroma, and finer details that lie in the quality of skin.  

https://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/09/13/japanese-farmer-creates-the-worlds-first-heart-shaped-watermelon/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true/amp/

While different farms in Japan produce varying quality levels, growing standards are generally kept high and competitive by keen local farmers. The rigorous labour involved makes it no surprise why they are considered luxury items and play an important role in Japan’s extensive gift-giving rituals. It is customary to bring a gift of fruits when visiting friends or celebrating important occasions, affecting all tiers of social status from households to high ranking business ceremonies.

How well do you know your Japanese fruits? Below are some of our favourites:

Momo (Peach)

Japanese peaches are larger and softer than normal peaches. Their juicy flesh is usually white in colour, and it is consumed by peeling off the skin and eaten raw. Among the many varieties such as Natsugokoro, Hakuho, Shimizu, Hakurei, Okayama Yume Hakuto, and Kawanakajima, SimplyObsessed.com cites the Shimizu variety as the best and most expensive.

Budo (Grapes)

Compared to the grapes that we are used to buying here in Malaysia, Japanese grapes are starkly different – they are large and round, growing neatly on the stalk in almost vertically straight rows and filled with copious amounts of juice. Their thick red skins are typically peeled before eating.

The most common variety is the Kyoho grape, utterly satisfying when eaten as a wholesome snack and also used to make wine. Grapes are in season during late summer and early autumn, with the most expensive variety considered to be the Ruby Roman. A single bunch can sell for thousands of USD!

Ringo (Apple)

http://supermarketnews.co.nz/japan-prepares-to-enjoy-an-apple-a-day/

If Japanese apples are ringo, then the fuji apple is definitely The Beatles of the lot – the most well-known. Apples were widely cultivated during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and is today exported to multiple countries in large quantities. While most Malaysians eat their apples skin-on, Japanese locals prefer peel their apples.

The relatively large, bright red, and satisfyingly crispy Fuji Apple is in season during autumn and early winter. Contrary to popular belief, the apples are not named after Mount Fuji, rather it got its name from growers at the Tohoku Research Station in Fujisaki, in 1930’s Japan. They cross-bred two classic American apples, the Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Janet to create the flavourful Fuji.

Nashi (Pear)

http://jpninfo.com/16358


Nashi pears are larger, rounder, and crispier than their European counterparts. Originally imported from China, they are widely consumed in Japan today especially during the late summer and autumn seasons. As with most Japanese fruits, they are peeled before consumption. These pears are most commonly gifted as a gesture of goodwill or eaten with guests on celebratory occasions. When selecting them, look for firmness and a slightly heavy feel – they will give you the best crisp.

Yuzu (Citrus Fruit)

http://www.saorijapanesesauce.com.au/product/71
Yuzu fruits carry a pleasantly distinct aroma that makes them ideal as an ingredient in perfumes and cleaning products. Like the nashi, it originally grew wild in China and Tibet before being brought over to  Japan during the reign of the Tang Dynasty. Yuzus are not eaten on their own, but used to enhance the flavour of sweet and savoury dishes – similar to a lime or lemon. In season during winter, the fruit has an interesting traditional use of being placed in hot baths during the winter solstice, believing to provide many health benefits..They are also used to make ponzu, a popular sour dipping sauce for grilled meats.  

Ume (Plum)

Despite being related more closely to the apricot, the obnoxiously bitter ume is better known as the Japanese plum. Not ideal to be eaten raw, ume is commonly used to make umeboshi, a salty yet flavourful pickle which is eaten with a bowl of rice or rolled inside onigiri. The fruit is also used to produce umeshu wine, a popular sweet alcoholic drink. Interestingly, the tree on which the fruit grows has flowers that blossom three months before the fruit is ripe, just like the cherry blossoms.

Mikan (Tangerine)

These sweet and easy-to-peel fruits have gained substantial popularity over the years, and are ubiquitous during winter when they are in season. There is a tradition of crowning the Japanese New Year rice cake with a bright orange mikan, as it is believed to symbolize an auspicious and prosperous succession of a family’s bloodline. Originally, the fruit on the top was a different citrus fruit called daidai, but it was replaced due to its unpleasant bitter taste.

Japanese fruits are as interesting as they are delicious, so give them a try at our Japanese Fair (until 19th August). More details on our fair at this link [insert link]. Who knows, ume discover something new.

Don’t miss our fun fruity activities at B.I.G. Publika! Get a free peach when you shop at B.I.G. on 9th August, and participate in our ‘Fill Your Tray’ special on the weekends of 11th – 12th and 18th – 19th August! Details as below:

Product

Date & Time

Activity

Japanese Peach

9 Aug, 1 – 2 pm.

Giveaway – 1 FREE peach per customer

Japan Delaware Grapes

11 – 12 Aug, 3 – 4 pm.

1 tray per customer for a fixed price* , fill as many fruits as possible on tray.

Japan Satsuma Imo (Sweet Potato)

18 – 19 Aug, 3 – 4 pm.

1 tray per customer for a fixed price* , fill as many potatoes as possible on tray.

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