It's the time of year trees are shedding their leaves, but for some maple leaves especially are a delicacy.  I saw a post shared on Facebook, and had no idea that people actually ate maple leaves.  After doing some Googling and YouTube-ing it turns out it's a popular dish in parts of Japan.

It's known as maple leave tempura or "momiji" and it's deep fried maple leaves.  When the leaves first fall to the ground, they're packed in salt for about a year.  Then the stems are cut off and the batter and deep fry process begins.  There's a YouTube channel I found called Great Big Story, and they featured a whole episode on deep fried maple leaves, and it was pretty fascinating.

Maple leaf tempura, also known as “momiji,” is a snack native to the Japanese town of Minoh. Battered and deep-fried to a golden crisp, making momiji is a delicate process that takes about a year to prepare. Just ask Setsuko Hisakuni—she’s been making them for over 50 years, carrying on a tradition that began in the 1300s.

For some reason trying a deep friend maple leave sounds so odd to me, but I'm not sure why.  I mean I love lettuce, and spinach, and salads, those are all leafy greens, so I'm not sure why a maple leaf seems so different to me.  Either way I definitely won't knock it until I try it. I mean if it's a tradition that started in the 1300's, it MUST be good!

See how deep fried maple leaves are made:

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