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Matatabi plant (Actinidiaceae or "Chinese gooseberry") will bear fruit in the early summer with white flowers, similar to the Japanese plum.
The name "Matatabi" means to "travel again", and was given to this plant because travelers would stop to eat the fruit, then resume their journey.
In the snowy winter of Uonuma district, Niigata Prefecture, there is a tradition of serving guests that came from afar matatabi tea and salt-pickled matatabi fruit.
In 2004, this matatabi product won an award for new product development from the Food Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Leaves of matatabi grown in Niigata Prefecture is processed with the same method as regular green tea, and blended with powder made from its fruit.