Sunday, September 26, 2021

Origin of plum wine

In China, plum wine is called meijiu, umeshu is a Japanese alcoholic drink, and in Korea, maesil ju is marketed under various brand names, including Mae Hwa Su, Mae Chui Soon, and Seol Joong Mae.

The first fermented foods consumed probably were fermented fruits. Hunter-gatherers would have consumed fresh fruits but in times of scarcity would have eaten rotten and fermented fruits.

Repeated consumption would have led to the development of the taste for fermented fruits. There is a reliable information that fermented drinks were being produced over 7000 years ago in Babylon, 5000 years ago in Egypt, 4000 years ago in Mexico, and 3500 years ago in Sudan.

It is believed that the plums were brought to Japan from China over 1,000 years ago, and have long been beloved during late winter and early spring months for their beautiful pink blossoms.

During the Sengoku (Warring States) Era around 1550 AD, there were many feudal lords that ordered the planting of ume trees as a source of medicine in preparation for war. The term umeshu appeared for the first time in 1697 in the “Honcho-shokkan” book of Japanese cuisine.

Plum wine or umeshu was first consumed as a medicine to soothe sore throats, but during the Showa period, the liquor laws were relaxed so that people were able to make their own umeshu at home. One of the famous brands of plum wine is Hakutsuru which was founded in 1743 in Kobe, Japan.

In United Kingdom, one of the famous fruit wines is Plum Jerkum. Plum Jerkum is native to the north Cotswolds and particularly to the county of Worcestershire. The drink is the fermented juice of plums, and is a very heady liquor. In the country they often mix it with cider, and thus moderate its effect.
Origin of plum wine

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