Yu Ja Cha – Citron TeaPosted By | Posted On Apr 14, 2011
Those of us who appreciate marmalade know just how hard it is to find that perfect balance of sweet, sour and bitter. While supermarket brands are often much too cloying, we never thought of checking out the local Asian markets. Turns out our perfect marmalade has been right there under our noses all along. The strange thing is that our perfect marmalade is not marmalade at all… its tea!
Yu Ja Cha, labeled Citron Tea in English, is a Korean favorite. Made from the Yuzu fruit, a small greenish orange citrus fruit native to Asia, it has an intense citrusy aroma and flavor. Traditionally added to hot or cold water to make a beverage, Koreans also like to add a spoonful to their favorite black tea. But don’t let that fool you. It is the perfect marmalade, chock full of Yuzu juice, honey, and thick slices of Yuzu rind.
Enjoy Yu Ja Cha thickly spread on hot buttered toast, (raisin bread toast is wonderful); on an english muffin; as an accompaniment to sharp sheep’s milk or goat’s milk cheeses; dolloped onto Greek yogurt; as a topping for New York-style Cheesecake; as a beverage (try a spoonful in soda water on a hot summer day); or simply right out of the jar whenever the mood strikes you.
Look for brands that have the fewest ingredients. And if the changeable Spring weather gets the best of you, take comfort in the fact that Koreans believe a spoonful of Yu Ja Cha in a glass of hot water is the ultimate cure for the miseries of the common cold!
Yu Ja Cha is available at C-Mart, and other Chinatown markets.
109 Lincoln Street
written by Jim Becker, Chinatown guide