How We Made It: PC® Yuzu collection
How We Made It
Once you taste astoundingly sweet-tart yuzu, you’re going to want it in everything. So we made that happen.
The first time Kathlyne Ross tried yuzu, she says she was “changed forever.”
As vice-president of product development and innovation at LoblawTM Companies Ltd., Ross is used to exploring new ingredients. And after just one taste of the incredibly rare, honey-tart citrus fruit, she knew it was the perfect flavour for the coming summer.
Yuzu is thought to have originated in China, but it’s more commonly associated with Japan today, where its outstanding, incomparable aroma infuses any number of foods, including ponzu—a blend of soy sauce and yuzu juice—candies and more. Yet even those who have heard of yuzu likely haven’t been able to try it, at least not recently. It’s rarely grown on this side of the world, so for most people, their only exposure may have been through food magazines and fancy restaurants.
That’s something Ross wanted to change.
Often described as a cross between a lemon, lime and an orange, yuzu is quite sour and not really meant for eating as-is. If you’ve never heard of it, you can likely get your head around “what a fruit flavour like this could be,” says Ross—that it’s a mash-up of all the best parts of the citrus family. “We're just introducing people to the next level of citrus.”
Product developers can’t just take a taste of something outstanding and leave it be. The wheels started spinning. “We asked ourselves, ‘what do we make with this amazing little citrus fruit?’ Next thing you know, we developed eight different products that contain yuzu.”
The collection includes , , , , , , and the showstopper, .
The team’s yuzu love came along at just the right moment. They had been working on a Japanese-style cheesecake for months, but always felt there was missing something. Yuzu flavour was it, and now this dessert is the star of whole collection.
If you’ve never tried a Japanese cheesecake, is a must-try. Unlike a New York-style cheesecake, this version, “is light, fluffy and almost soufflé-like,” says PC® product developer Aneta Rybak. And the addition of tart yuzu makes it one of those foods you just have to take another forkful of. “Yuzu lends itself really well to dairy—it helps cut the richness and brings brightness to the dish. You don’t even need a topping. Honestly, you can eat a quarter of it in a sitting—and I have!” she says.
Yuzu swings savoury too, in much the same way other citrus does. In Japan, many meat and noodle dishes contain ponzu—the sauce made from soy sauce and yuzu—for this very reason. Citrus, typically lemon and orange, pair particularly well with chicken and fish, Rybak explains, so yuzu was a natural extension for , or – familiar, but with an eye-opening, offbeat energy
This bold citrus can more than hold its own against another bold flavour. We’re talking hot sauce. New is a completely different take on a hot sauce, Rybak says. Thin and “dressing-like,” its consistency allows the sauce to act as a “veil of flavour on your dish, not a mask,” she explains. Its flavour is delicate, delivering a balance of sweet yuzu citrus and tangy rice vinegar before closing with the tingling heat of jalapeño peppers.
For those who can’t resist a good TikTok food trend, try sandwiching a slice of between two soft cookies (chocolate chip, oatmeal or ginger cookies all work nicely). Add a spoonful of berry jam or lemon curd and a dash of . . Trust us.
You’re going to need something to drink after that warm, full-mouth burn. For this, Rybak recommends the new . “The fragrant, zesty and tart characteristics of yuzu elevates a traditional lemonade,” she says. “Zesty and fragrant floral notes first come to the nose and then the warming, floral notes of honey melt on the tongue.” Alternatively, cool down with a bowl of . The unexpected combination of these two fruits creates a whole new incredible flavour.
And to round out the collection, we even put yuzu in coffee. Rybak suggests trying the new . Made with 100% arabica coffee beans and with a splash of juice, this first-on-the-market sparkling cold brew—inspired by the coffee-plus-soda trend popularized by fancy cafes around the world—combines the fragrant, zesty, tartness orange juice and yuzu flavour. “I like cold brew, but it’s not something I run out to buy all the time,” Ross says. “But this is another product that takes something familiar and adds that yuzu element. Now I'm obsessed with it!”