After appearing at places such as Tetsuya’s in Sydney and Minamishima in Melbourne, the yuzu is spreading to cafes, restaurants and cocktail bars - including Glebe’s The Wedge Espresso, where it is sometimes made into hollandaise, and Edition Coffee Roasters at Darling Square, where yuzu curd adorns the miso banana bread.
At Buck’s Farm in Chillingham in northern NSW west of Murwillumbah, Gerard “Buck” Buchanan also uses yuzu to make moisturiser, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. After years of shipping the products around Australia, last week Buck signed up his first customer in Japan.
Buck claims to be the first person to grow yuzu commercially in Australia after a suggestion from a Japanese woman, some 20 years ago. “She said to us ‘you should grow yuzu’,” he tells smh.com.au. “I’d never heard of it. She came back 12 months later and she said ‘have you got that tree?’ I said ‘no, can you write that word down on paper for me and we’ll do some research’. Eventually we got half a dozen trees and here we are today producing hundreds and hundreds of kilos.”
Yuzu originated on the banks of China’s Yangtze River and was later introduced via Korea to Japan, where it became a kitchen staple - appearing in soups, sushi, salads, teas and desserts - as well as a medicinal wonder. Yuzu is known for having three times as much vitamin C as lemon. There are two other big commercial growers of the fruit in Australia: Mountain Yuzu, the largest, at the foothills of the Victorian alps near Bright, and G. M. Arnold & Son at Waikerie in South Australia’s Riverland region.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com