What is Maesil?
Unless you are familiar with the Korean language or culture, you probably haven’t heard of this word before. Don’t worry, we are here to share as much as we know about Maesil with you!
Maesil means green Asian apricot in Korean.
It is also commonly known as Ume (in Japanese) or Chin Meizi (in Chinese). This fruit has been eaten for hundreds of years in Asian cultures, and it is widely known for its medicinal benefits. Maesil comes from the Prunus Mume (tree family) and is available to harvest during May/June each year after a beautiful Spring blossom.
Have you seen those romantic movie/drama scenes with picturesque Cherry Blossom (we’ve seen tons in k-dramas!)? Well, that’s what the Maesil flower (a.k.a. Mae-hwa) blossom looks like!
Maesil is a very sour stone fruit. Instead of eating the fruit in its original form, it is typically fermented or pickled.
When is the Maesil fruit available?
We usually harvest during the months of May and June. The harvest dates vary from year to year, and it’s dependent on weather conditions throughout the year. We always want to make sure the fruit is mature when we harvest for the most optimal taste.
What is Maesil Syrup?
Maesil syrup could be best described as a very versatile syrup. It is made from fermenting Maesil fruit with sugar, which gives it a sweet, tart, and tangy flavor. This syrup has a variety of uses, the most common ones are:
- Making hot/cold teas, or other beverages
- Using as a key ingredient for cooking various dishes (many of them shared in our recipe section to provide you with some inspiration)
- Making marinades
- Mixing with other ingredients to make delicious dressings (perfect for salads)
What are the ingredients used to make Maesil Syrup?
There are only two ingredients for the syrup: (1) Maesil, and (2) sugar.
However, there are a couple of key ingredients, which unfortunately can’t be added as ‘official’ ingredients. Those are love and dedication. Every bottle of syrup is made as if we were sharing them with our parents, children, or other loved ones. Rest assured, the bottle you receive will have those same ingredients!
How is Maesil Syrup made?
We could spend a long time describing how the syrup is made, and how you could also do this at home. Instead, we are including links (below) to a couple of amazing bloggers who share how they make this syrup. They also have a variety of recipes for you to try!
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the bottle I received this time have a slightly different color?
Our syrups only include two ingredients, which are Maesil and sugar. We do not include any additives nor colorants to keep consistency in how the syrup tastes or looks. Every batch we make has small variations, and they all depend on the type of harvest we had in a particular year, and it also varies from fruit to fruit. This could be best compared to how two people are never EXACTLY the same, even identical twins are not exactly the same 😊 Just like you, every batch is unique.
How do you store the product?
This syrup should be stored in a cool place. Once you open the bottle, we recommend that you keep it refrigerated. If you notice some sediments floating in the syrup or sinking to the bottom of the bottle, gently shake it before using.
The sediment is completely normal to see in the syrup, those are Maesil fruit particles. If you are wondering if it is safe to eat, think about this: Koreans make this side dish called Maesil Jang-ah-jji. This is a dish prepared with the fermented fruit (yes, the fruit that we used to make the syrup), and that can be eaten as is, or mixed with other ingredients to make it spicy. So please enjoy without any worries!