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Fried Maple Leaves


(Photo: Tablelog)

Maple leaves are more than just a national symbol of Canada. In Osaka, Japan, they're a snack. Brian Ashcraft describes them at Kotaku. People collect fallen maple leaves, then preserve them in salt for more than a year. Cooks then fry them in a sweet batter for about 20 minutes to produce a pretty and tasty treat.


(Photo: eikblo)

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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I live here in Japan, and I would just say that this is not a common/popular thing, in fact I would say that the majority of people here have heard of it and few people have tried it. And while it is apparently a local dish of Osaka near where I live, it is far from well known here. That said, thank you for featuring such a neat article, just be careful when you claim something is 'popular' in Japan. It is far from common or ordinary here and many Japanese people would be very surprised to hear it even exists or that you can even eat them.
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A lot of recipes like this are just an excuse to form a delicious deep-fried batter crust. When my grandparents were young, in the 1930s, they had pumpkins in the garden. Grandma plucked pumpkin blossoms (you have to limit the number of fruits per vine to get them to a good size) and fried the flowers in batter, like she'd seen her own mother do. Word of that got around in the tiny coal camp, and suddenly the neighbors were bringing them groceries, because they were obviously starving if they had to eat pumpkin blossoms!

It's the same idea behind rosettes, or more recently, funnel cakes.
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Just got home from The State Fair of Texas where they have all kinds of crazy fried things, but apparently they got nothing on Japan.
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