On my first and only visit to Japan, I’ll never forget seeing several dozen persimmons swinging gently outside – hanging from thatched straw roof eaves. I didn’t get to taste hoshigaki that trip, but recently my aunt has been sending us these preserved delicacies from California. In the photo above, the persimmon on the right is from Japan. It’s been peeled and hung by its stem so it retains a vertical profile. As it dries, the persimmon is gently massaged to bring the sugar crystals to the surface. On the left: a persimmon from a Korean market, it’s flattened as it dries on a rack (no massage and hence a much lower price point).
Hosigaki has a chewy texture and a sweet concentrated persimmon flavor.
Every Fall when persimmons are in season I want to make these at home, but falter when it comes to committing to massage the fruit several times a week. And then there’s the fruit hanging inside your home… Hopefully my aunt will keep sending us a few every Winter instead! I’ve heard they are way too labor-intensive to be sold commercially, has anyone seen hoshigaki for sale in NYC area?