- Persimmons are a gift from the heavens that can be used in many ways
- Dried persimmons that have received plenty of sunlight are highly nutritious
- Seasonal sweets using persimmons are a must-try too!
Persimmons are a gift from the heavens that can be used in many ways
What kind of dried fruits do you eat in your country? “Persimmon” (“kaki,” in Japanese) is the most representative of Japanese dried fruits. They are made by hanging out to dry (“hosu,” in Japanese), giving them the name of “hoshigaki.” Dried persimmons are very sweet so in the past, when sugar was hard to come by, they were a valuable source of sweetness to the common people. Persimmon leaves also have sterilizing and antioxidant effects and were used to wrap up tea and sushi. The astringent juice of the persimmon is also used as a preservative.
Dried persimmons that have received plenty of sunlight are highly nutritious
The persimmons used to make dried persimmons are too bitter to eat as is. Hanging them under the eaves exposes them to cold wind and plenty of sunlight, draining the moisture out and condensing their sweetness changing them into sweet dried persimmons. They are even much sweeter than ripe grapes! Dried persimmons have a high concentration of nutrients that includes potassium and carotene, among others. From way back, persimmons have been said to be very good for hangovers. However, one must be careful not to eat too many.
Seasonal sweets using persimmons are a must-try too!
This is a rare sight in the city, but if you go to the suburbs or rural districts, you may be able to see dried persimmons hanging under the eaves, basking in the autumnal sun.
Many shops sell traditional Japanese style sweets that use dried and regular persimmons. There are seasonal-limited sweets too, so be sure to check them out if you come across them!