|Name||Cherry Blossoms Jelly|
|Sales period||February - May|
|Storage||Room temperature, cool and dark place (refrigeration is recommended)|
|Fruit used||Yae-zakura from Kanagawa Prefecture (Yae-zakura pickled in salt and plum vinegar)|
The cherry blossom is a special flower for the Japanese people as it adds color to the seasons of parting and meeting, such as graduation, entrance into school, and transfers. Cherry blossoms used for food are double-flowered cherry trees with many petals and a deep pink color, mainly the Sekisan variety.
Odawara City and Hadano City in Kanagawa Prefecture are two of the nation's leading producers of salted cherry blossoms, and have been selected as one of the "100 Best Products of Kanagawa.
The cherry blossoms are picked when they are in their eight-tenth in bloom in mid to late April. Most of the cherry blossoms are purchased by a pickle company in Odawara City, and pickled with salt and "ume vinegar" from the production of pickled plums. The pickled cherry blossoms are not ready to be eaten until more than a month after they are pickled, and are stored in the refrigerator to prevent fading and are sold throughout the year.
Cherry blossom tea is often used for ceremonial occasions such as engagements and weddings. Shake off some salt and put the flowers in a tea cup and pour plain hot water, the flowers open like cherry blossoms in the teacup, and the light red color and faint fragrance enhance the festive atmosphere.
In the past, it was mostly shipped for this cherry blossom tea, but in recent years it has been used in a variety of ways, and it is useful for kaiseki dishes, chirashi-zushi, mixed rice, soup, vinegared foods, Japanese sweets, etc. , New needs such as pasta and Western confectionery are increasing, and processed products such as "sparkling wine", "Yaezakura salt ponzu", "ice cream" and "pudding" are also made.