Will Fried Leaves Be the Newest Fall Food Trend?

By: Lawrence Bonk

Do you feel that gentle lilt in the air? Fall is upon us, forcing us to take those light sweaters out of the closet. As an added bonus, the season also brings fallen leaves in every color of the rainbow. These leaves are pretty to look at, but why stop there? Let's put 'em in a big bowl and eat 'em! That's what the residents of one Japanese town do.

Minoo City, in the province of Osaka, has a signature dish: a bowl of deep-fried leaves! Local chefs take the Japanese maple leaf, known in Japan as momiji, and plate it up as a crunchy bowl of tempura. Momiji tempura is so popular, as a matter of fact, that it has made the town something of a destination spot for tourists.

These aren't leaves taken from the ground and thrown in a random fryer, however. They are salted in barrels for a year before being battered and fried. According to locals, the recipe goes back 1,000 years. Who knew the front yard was filled with potential for culinary delights?
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