It all started last year when The Great British Bake Off contestant Rav Bansal made Paul and Mary’s eyes pop by way of a zingy ginger spiced yuzu drizzle cake. Yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit renowned for its unusual aromatic flavour, has been loosely celebrated as a superfood thanks to its high vitamin C content, and it comes in at a hefty £4.59 for 60ml of juice at Waitrose (the forward looking supermarket chain has been stocking it since 2013). So far, so superfood sounding, but what are yuzu’s real health credentials, and should we be creeping into our overdrafts to guzzle the stuff? Nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik is skeptical:
“It’s traditionally been used in Japanese and Asian cooking and is almost a cross between tangerine and lemon in terms of taste, with a hint of grapefruit flavour. Yuzu juice is used in things like dressings and sauces, which is probably the best way to to incorporate it into dishes, but you can also add it into cocktails” (so far...cocktails and cake. Liking the sound of this).
“As for yuzu’s nutritional profile, there isn’t a huge amount of data available but it is estimated that yuzu contains almost double the content of vitamin C compared to other citrus fruits, like lemons for example. However, in the fruit stakes, kiwis rank higher in vitamin C and are more readily available. Plus, if foods high in vitamin C are particularly on your agenda, then red and yellow peppers and broccoli trump yuzu, kiwi and citrus fruits altogether.”
“Yuzu also contains compounds called flavonoids, specifically naringenin and hesperidin, that are commonly found in citrus fruits and have shown some correlation with positive cardiovascular effects, but you won’t get more from these than you would from say, a grapefruit. So I wouldn’t be racing to pop this in the supermarket basket for nutritional benefit alone, as you can quite easily get similar nutrients from other sources, and yuzu is definitely on the expensive side. That said, if you do want to add an interesting, complex flavour to your dishes then you might want to give it a whirl!”