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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kaki(柿), Japanese Persimmons

Japanese persimmons, or kaki have become my favorite fruit. They are a perennial sign of autumn in Japan. They are very common throughout the country. I don't think I'd even ever seen  persimmon in America before much less eaten one. I've heard the taste described as like an apricot, but with a darker, honey flavor. 

There are two varieties. One kind is eaten fresh. The other I actually like better is the dried "hoshigaki". I love these things, thick, sweet, and chewy. A little like the inside of a fig newton. These are picked and then strung up like a string of pearls to dry in the sun, a common sight on people's balconies in the autumn. The little tops would be a great hat for an acorn person craft. I much prefer these to the little winter oranges people eat while sitting under the kotatsu. 

My wife told me that boom harvests of kaki come in alternating years. Omotedoshi means a get a lot year like this one. Uradoshi means a get nothing year. I recommend trying this sweet autumn fruit if you have the chance.

hoshigaki, dried persimmons

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