Kabosu lemons are amazing. Reiko, our lovely Japanese friend, brought over a huge bag of Japanese lemons and obviously, we were thrilled to get so many precious Japanese lemon fruits!! She called them Yuzu’s, a Japanese variety of lemon/citron. But after a closer look, taste, and examination, they look more like Japanese Kabosu. Kabosu and Yuzu are both very similar, with slight differences in flavor and texture. Most folks can’t tell the difference between Japanese yuzu and kabosu, but we’ve been able to study and eat them enough to recognize the difference.Kabosu Japanese Lemons in basket

Kabosu Japanese Lemons on cutting board

Based on what we tasted in Japan and what we harvested from our Yuzu tree, the Japanese variety of lemons that Reiko brought over had much more juice than Yuzu. We’re certain these are kabosu because they have more juice, smaller seeds and thinner rind than Yuzu.

Yuzu and Kabosu Japanese Lemons on board

Yuzu (left) vs. Kabosu (right)

What are Kabosu? How are they different from Yuzu?

  • Kabosu is a Japanese lemon that is related to the Yuzu, but has more juice than Yuzu. More info on Kabosu from UCR Citrus Research
  • Kabosu usually has a thinner rind , less pith and less seeds
  • Kabosu can be harvested and juice when while they’re still green (kinda like a lime). When left on the tree for a long period, they will turn yellow. Yuzu can also be used in their green and ripe yellow stages.
  • Kabosu is not as sour as Yuzu. Also, from all the Kabosu that we tasted in Japan and from Reiko, we find that Kabosu is a little less “floral” fragrance when compared to the yuzu
  • Yuzu has much less juice and more peel, but Kabosu has more juice that makes it especially wonderful for cooking. Although the Kabosu we have doesn’t have the strong fragrance that Yuzu has, Kabosu is much more versatile because of it’s higher juice content.
  • Overall, Kabosu is an amazingly fragrant and delicious lemon. It’s a wonderful addition to any garden!

Our Yuzu tree produces different looking and tasting fruit than all those that Reiko brought over. We’re almost 100% certain that these are Kabosu’s, especially after our trip to Japan in September that was filled with Yuzu, Sudachi and Kabosu searching, we’re pretty sure these are Kabosu.

We’re thrilled to have so much Japanese kabosu citrus lemons because kabosu is so rare!

Thank you Reiko for all the wonderful Kabosu lemons!! xoxoxo

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