Persimmons are mystery for some people. Growing up eating the Hachiya variety (only to learn that’s what it is called in English, last year) I discovered the Fuyu variety rather late. This variety can be eaten before it has to get very soft, ripe, so it makes it easy to store. If you have access to astringent hachiyas, try putting them in a brown bag with an apple, and will get ripe in no time. The same trick can be used to ripen kiwis—which we successfuly applied this summer after picking the kiwis at my parents’ house.
The dried persimmons are a new addition to my “persimmon discoveries” as well. It started with a colleague of mine to tell me about a family owning an orchard just a few miles away from where I live. Once I was there, to buy some in season produce, I saw some orange mini-globes hanging from string on a nice wooden structure. Chatting with the owner, he told me that they are drying persimmons. Interesting idea. Well, this was 2 or 3 years ago. Finally, last time I was there, to buy the fresh persimmons, I bought a small pack of dried ones to try out. The result: heavenly.Â Kind of resembles dates.
Btw, I also learned that hoshi gaki is the proper name for these jewels in Japanese.
Check out the drying process and how much it is involved.Â What is amazing is that they start with unripe persimmon—which is very astringent (you should not even try eating!) and end up with such a sweet product.Â At the end of the article, they list growers who’s ship far away, if you decide it is something you should taste at least once. I suggest you do.