Japanese Ume Snacks Perfect for Hot Summer Days!

As it gets hotter in Japan, ume-flavored snacks are everyone's go-to sweet treat. The refreshing sour taste of ume can ease people's stress from the summer heat. Furthermore, ume has beneficial effects on people suffering from summer fatigue.

In this article, we will talk about why it is a good idea to eat ume in the summer, and share with you some of the best snacks using Japanese plums as the main ingredient.

If you ever wondered why ume is so popular in Japan or are looking for a perfect summer snack, this article is for you!

Ume (plum) tree with plums

Why Is Ume Good for You, Especially in the Summertime?

Why is eating ume during summer season good for your body? It is becasue ume has a lot of citric acid. Vinegar and citrus fruits, such as lemons or grapefruits, are all known for containing citric acid, and that's where the sour flavor comes from. 

Citric Acid has various health benefits, such as fatigue relief, increased appetite, and minerals. This makes it perfect for people to beat the summer heat. Now let's take a look at each benefit in detail.

Benefit #1: For Fatigue Relief

Citric acid breaks down the lactic acid, one of the causes of fatigue, and increases metabolism. The antioxidants contained within the citric acid energize cells and eliminate wastes in the body. Therefore, it reduces accumulation of fatigue substances. This helps recovery from heat exhaustion. 

Ume syrup drink

Benefit #2: Increases Appetite 

A decrease in appetite is one of the common symptoms of summer fatigue. Eating too much cold food because of the hot weather weakens the stomach's digestive system. However, the acidity of the citric acid can increase your digestion and appetite. That's also why your mouth gets watery after eating something sour. 

Furthermore, citric acid stimulates digestive enzymes and helps with the breakdown of your foods. Ume contains plenty of citric acids, making it effective for the loss of appetite or lack of digestion caused by the summer heat. 

A basket full of plums

Benefit #3: A Good Source for Minerals 

Citric acid has a "chelate effect," which helps convert iron, calcium, and other minerals into a soluble form. 

Minerals are important for keeping your body healthy. However, people can lose a significant amount of minerals from the summer sweat. Furthermore, minerals can only be obtained externally as the body cannot produce them on its own.

Not only does ume helps mineral absorption, but it is also rich in many nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. This makes ume an ideal source of minerals during the hot summer.

Ume preserved in syrup

Collection of Japanese Ume Snacks!

Now we have looked at how ume can be your perfect choice to beat the summer heat. Let's take a deeper dive into some of the best ume-flavored Japanese sweets!

While most people may associate ume only with sour flavors, there are actually many Japanese sweets that use sweetened ume so they are easier to eat. Of course, it's also a popular thing for people to just enjoy ume's strong sourness. People can have these flavor options to choose from based on their preferences.

Our Top Picks #1: Ume Candy, Gummy, Tablet

If you just want to have a quick taste of ume, then we recommend candies, gummies, tablets, or other similar types of sweets. While many Japanese sweets would emphasize the natural taste of ume, there are also those that would mix ume with honey to create a sweet flavor.

Most of these sweets are individually packaged, making them easy to eat at any time. That is why it's the perfect kind of light snack for study or work breaks. If you want to enjoy the taste of ume in your mouth for a longer time, we would highly recommend rock candy. Whereas gummies or tablets are good choices if you just want a quick snack.

Ume candy

Our Top Picks #2: Ume Jelly

If you are losing your appetite because of the summer heat, then we recommend having a cool and refreshing ume jelly. Ume jelly is known for its effect of increasing appetite. The refreshing taste of ume and the plump texture of the jelly are also a perfect match.

There are various types of ume jellies, such as the ones made from ume juice or the ones that contain the actual ume fruit inside, which means you can taste the fruit in a jelly!

Most of ume jelly snacks have a sweet flavor, which is easier for people (e.g. small children) who don't like sour food to enjoy ume snacks.  

Ume jelly

Our Top Picks #3: Ume Paper Candy

Ume-flavored paper candy is a sheet-like candy made from crushed and kneaded umes. The thickness of the paper candy varies greatly. Some can be so thin that they will quickly melt in your mouth, while others can be as thick as beef jerky.

When you place a paper candy on your tongue, the refreshing taste of ume will quickly spread across your mouth. You can also chew it like gum and enjoy its unique texture. Furthermore, it is easy to carry, and no need to worry about getting your hands dirty. Ume paper candy can help prevent heat stroke and relieve fatigue during the summer months because they are rich in ume nutrients and salt.

Umeboshi drying in the sun

Summary: Beat the Heat This Summer With Japanese Ume Snacks!

Ume is abundantly full of citric acid, which has various benefits against the summer heat, such as relieving fatigue, increasing appetite, and promoting the absorption of minerals. Ume snacks are especially designed for you to enjoy the fruit anytime and anywhere you want!

At Zelico, we offer a great variety of ume-flavored Japanese sweets. We invite you to try them for yourself, and beat the heat this summer!

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