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|