Hidden Depths

Is this not the most homely plum (yes, that's what you're looking at) you've ever laid eyes on? For the first two years that I was in Japan, these ugly little dudes received nothing but quick, disparaging glances from me before I toted my shopping basket to prettier produce pastures. But finally, frugality overpowered my shameful skin-color prejudice, and I ungraciously decided to give the soldam plum a chance. In all fairness to myself, when I tried to find out the English name for this fruit (in Japanese, it is pronounced so-ru-dum) through Google image search, the few results that bore a close resemblance took me to articles on plum disease. Seriously!

But that day a year ago, when I bought my first pack of soldams, it took only one bite to win me over. Not, in truth, because of the flavor but because of this:

I assure you that the real thing is even more stunning. I couldn't believe the lushly colored flesh that had been hiding beneath that grungy, mottled exterior. It was such a fun, lovely discovery that I slowly devoured the rest of the fruit with my eyes almost crossed, concentrating more on the jeweled hues than the actual flavor.

Truthfully, there's nothing extraordinary about the taste of the soldam plum: a sour skin and the usual sweet plummy interior. I mean, it is nice and juicy and all, but really I buy it for the fun factor. I don't know why I should be so dazzled, but it seems my head is easily turned by showy little flashes of scarlet and tropical punch. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm a total sucker for garishly colored foods--seasonal Oreos, kueh lapis, blazing yellow turmeric rice. Natural or chemical, there is a place in my heart for them all.

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Love that colour. Must make a beautiful jelly.

7/21/2005 11:49:00 AM  

It would be pretty, wouldn't it? I wonder though whether the color would fade (or brown) during the cooking process.

7/23/2005 01:21:00 AM  

Thank you i've been looking for the name of this fruit and your blog saved me! I bought a pack last week and posted in my blog hoping someone might tell me what is it. I can still remember the japanese name "sorudamu" so i searched for Zoldam then soldam then bam i found your site! Thanks so much! 

from aids

8/02/2005 03:50:00 PM  

heavenly fruit :)

8/05/2005 06:56:00 PM  

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