Japanese tree raisins
Bizarre looking, it's the swollen ends of the stalks which are the fruit - pinched off and eaten raw or added to dishes as you would dried fruit. As the name suggests, they taste like raisins – sweet, spicy, crunchy ones with a bit of pear too. The black seeds that form at the end, which as known as drupes, are not eaten.
The stalks are hand-picked from the tree or left to naturally drop. The flavour improves as the raisins are stored, for up to two months. Used in traditional Korean, Chinese and Japanese medicine, it is also made into a drink in China and touted as a hangover cure.
Research suggests extract from the raisin may also help lower blood sugar levels. The fast-growing Hovenia Dulcis has also been planted to help with reforestation and is sold from Incredible Edibles nursery in New Zealand, should you wish to grow it yourself.
Try matching your tree raisins with a gorgeous ripe brie or camembert, and tart and spicy blues.
Store in a paper bag in the hot water cupboard.