Umeboshi is a savory, salty, sour pickle made from ume plums that Ayako Iino grew up eating in her native Japan. After moving to California and dabbling in the East Bay culinary world — an internship at Chez Panisse, a cooking gig at Oliveto — she came across a Californian farmer growing ume plums and followed her calling to the act of preserving. Her small business, Yumé Boshi, specializes in umeboshi, but she also makes jams, vinegars, and syrups with the uniquely tart plum. The Yukari, a blend of dried shiso flakes that have sat in umeboshi juice, adds a striking, complex tang to dishes as simple as steamed white rice. The single most delicious item, though, might be the red shiso–ume syrup, which would make just about any cocktail instantly delightful. Find Iino’s products in a variety of Berkeley stores, including Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market.
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.Best Purveyor of Pickled Plums