Geek Trivia

In Japan, Which Of These Things Are Deep Fried As An Autumn Treat?

Maple Sugar Rice Balls
Cinnamon Soaked Seaweed
Japanese Maple Leaves
Urchin Spines and Cloves
Modern Subway Maps Were Inspired By?

Answer: Japanese Maple Leaves

In the Osaka region of Japan, there is a long-standing tradition of not just enjoying the vibrant color of fall foliage, but eating it too. Every fall, people there carefully gather the leaves of Japanese maples, clean and dry them, and then coat them with a sweet tempura batter before deep frying them.

While preparations do vary (some specialty shops will pack the leaves in salt and otherwise dry and season them in more advanced ways), the process is pretty consistent across the region. The end result is a sweet fried delicacy not unlike fried treats enjoyed by Americans at thousands of fairs and carnivals.

Image by kimubert/Flickr.