One week ago Chef Mario and our Farming Assistant, Rachel, began a unique project here at Frog Hollow Farm: drying persimmons! The method of drying them is called "Hoshigaki." This Japanese method involves peeling Hachiya Persimmons, known for their elongated shape and astringency, and then hanging them by hand from string. They are primarily air-dried with access to a little bit of sunshine. The process takes about five weeks to complete, all the while massaging them delicately on a daily basis. Massaging them gently and daily helps break up the inner pulp and bring the natural fruit sugar to the surface.
The end result is a tender, moist, flavor-rich treat, lightly dusted with a sugary powder. As Chef Mario puts it, "the Kobe Beef of dried fruit!" With a little love and lot more patience, these treats could grace your table too, this holiday season!
Week 1: Peeling, hanging and dipping the Hachiyas in hot water to prevent any potential mold growth
Week 2: Beginning to gently massage the persimmons daily to soften them up and facilitate movement of the sugars outward
Week 3: Continuing to massage the persimmons daily (and possibly starting to name them...). The persimmons are starting to soften and shrivel up significantly!
Keep coming back every week for updates on their progress!