I come from a very linguistically focused family where all sorts of word games (not to mention mind games) were the order of the day. I'm very into language and its limitless possibilities for manipulation, including the humblest pun. Never can resist. Ingredients are sort of like words, able to be tossed together in seemingly infinite combinations, so that cooking becomes a kind of jazzy poetry (rap?!) or improvised narrative. The kishu is a sweet little grace note, an ampersand between clementines and satsumas. This tiny mandarin, only slightly bigger than a jawbreaker, originated in China and arrived in Japan around the 17th century, where it is known as mukaku-kishi
means seedless, which they are. They have a super-short season and are not that easy to come across. I got mine through Local Harvest
, a locavore network that helps you find farmers' markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, and through which you can buy produce, grass-fed meats and other coveted items. My kishus came from Churchill Orchard
, a small organic farm in Ojai, California.