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Japan Is Making Eggs That Smell Like Fruit

Meet the latest newcomer to the acid-trip universe of foods that taste like entirely different foods: Japanese eggs that smell like yuzu citrus fruit.
February 21, 2015, 3:00pm

Within the acid-trip universe of foods that taste like entirely different foods, we already have cotton candy-flavored grapes and the controversial Grapple, the merits of which end at their novelty.

And now comes another contender from the land where watermelons grow in neat cubes: eggs that smell like yuzu citrus fruit.

As reported by RocketNews24, a small egg producer in Kochi Prefecture—located on the southwest corner of the Japanese island of Shikoku—has recently introduced what it calls yuzutama to local markets there.


Unlike the Grapple, however, the yuzutama reportedly have no chemical-additive component. Instead, Yamasaki Farms claims that it simply feeds its chickens yuzu, for which Kochi is famous. Used widely in Japanese cuisine, the highly aromatic fruit looks something like a wrinkly lemon and has a flavor that sits somewhere between a floral grapefruit and a mandarin. It's often found in ponzu sauce and is an integral ingredient in yuzu kosho, a spicy condiment for sashimi and Japanese hot pot dishes.

According to the website for Yamasaki Farms, its chickens feast on a diet of yuzu peel, kale, non-GMO corn, and sesame seeds, which allegedly add their own flavor to the eggs, too. Yamasaki recommends eating its yuzutama in tamago kake gohan, a simple dish of cooked rice and raw egg that's often consumed for breakfast.

Despite these chickens' fancy diets, a six-pack of the eggs sells for around 400-500 yen (about US$3.36-4.20)—high for Japan, perhaps, but not prohibitively expensive by US standards. (And don't forget that Japan is a place where people will shell out upwards of US$160 for a cantaloupe.) According to RocketNews24, the eggs are most easily found in Kochi, but at least one store in Tokyo stocks them.

The site did a taste test with the eggs, reporting: "For some of you, the idea of citrus-flavored eggs may have you imagining an invasive, acidic quality. Don't worry though, there's nothing like that going on here. The yuzu flavor isn't as powerful as the scent, and if anything it helps to draw out more of the egg's inherent rich sweetness."

But would they work in an Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich?