1. While most Americans view leaves as natural tree ornaments or a mess in the front yard, in Japan they’re a fried delicacy.
3. Popular in the Osaka area in Northern Japan, the crispy treat, called momiji, is made by frying Japanese maple leaves in tempura batter.
Some people even preserve the leaves for a year in salt barrels before frying them, according to Kotaku. They are then fried in a slightly sweet batter made with sugar and sesame for about 20 minutes, until they get crispy.
5. Momiji tempura has reportedly been prepared for over a thousand years.
7. The leaves themselves don’t really taste like much, so the flavor depends on the batter, and differs depending on where the snack is made.
9. Some accounts claim the leafy delicacy has been around for over 1,000 years, and it’s taken centuries of tweaking to reach the current manifestation of the recipe. If you ever find yourself near Osaka, grab a warm tub and get snacking!
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