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:
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.