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Picture of HoshiGaki
To be eaten fresh, the Hachiya persimmon must be completely soft, otherwise it is unbearably astringent. For drying, however, the fruits are perfect when the shoulders just lose their green, but are still firm like apples, generally from the end of September to the middle of October. The riper they are, the more delicately they must be handled. Making HoshiGaki requires patience, careful monitoring, and a fair amount of dexterity. However, if you follow the method closely, you will achieve a rewarding product that is succulent, very handsome, and makes wonderful Holiday gifts.
 
 
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Step 1: Finding Hachiya persimmons

Picture of Finding Hachiya persimmons
Start with a 20 lb box of medium sized Hachiya Persimmons with the stems intact, and store them calyx down. (If you pick your own fruit, pull upward against the branch to retain the stem.) Handle the fruit very gently, as any bruise will create a soft spot that will make peeling difficult and may create a leak during the drying process. Larger persimmons can be dried too and yields a superior product, but require more massaging, so medium fruit is best for beginners. Call your county Agricultural Commissioner or local Farm Bureau to find farmers in your area.
KenCaplan4 years ago
Great tutorial.
We have a problem of the persimmons dropping off of the stem/calyx remnant after a week or so of drying- SPLAT on the ground, what a sticky mess.  Why does this happen? Any tricks to avoid this from occurring so often?
farmerjeff (author)  KenCaplan4 years ago
Ken, make sure to leave at least a dime size piece of calyx when you peel. Then, wait at least 7 days before the first squeeze and only do about half a squeeze on the first pass. The most delicate time is the first week after the first squeeze when all the moisture makes things soft. Keep the temperature up, the humidity down and the fans going so they do not get so soft and droopy. Later, after you have passed this hurdle, cycle the temperature and humidity so it gets cool for a third of the day, then heat things back up etc. I turn off the heat at night and do my late massaging in the morning when things are softest.
Skip4 years ago
I am surprised there aren't more comments about this instructable. It is wonderfully detailed and informative. What is the taste comparative to? I have never had a persimmon. Is there other fruit that this particular technique can be used with?
farmerjeff (author)  Skip4 years ago
Dear Skip, Thank you for your kind words. The taste of a dried persimmon, sweet, jammy and subtle, can't really be directly compared to anything, maybe marshmallow and date. As far as other fruits, you can go ahead and try, but I think that the tanic acid content of the hard ripe persimmon is probably the key. The fresh fruit is astringent if eaten firm, and must be dried or gooey soft to be edible. There is another description on the slowfood.org site under ark of taste. If you google HoshiGaki, two online purveyors come up, usually me first, and then my good friend who originally showed me how to peel. The rest I learned at CHK, college of hard knocks. Thanks again.
I have made these using farmer Jeff's instructions, and they are incredibly delicious. There is a time commitment, as you have to tend to the fruit over the course of a few weeks, so you may want to buy them ready made instead of doing your own, but a perfect hoshigaki with a capuccino in the morning is now my favorite breakfast.
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