Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dried Persimmons!

I'm not aware that I've lapsed into my mania for exotic fruit here before... I had always heard of the existence of a variety of legendary dried persimmons prepared in a traditional Japanese manner by skinning the fruit hanging them from strings and massaging them while they dry to get a tender uniform texture. Thanks to the generosity of my co-worker Yuko who received some from Japan I was finally able to taste one.

One of these is conventional dried persimmon from a Japanese grocery. The other was hand massaged daily by the farmer who grew it. Can you tell which is which?
How about when they are cut open?
I had the opportunity to compare it with a more conventional dried persimmon (presumably) the same or similar variety, skinned, but not massaged and I imagine dried in a conventional dryer. The one on the left is the massaged one.  I am not really a foodie, so generally disapprove of enthusing over 'fancy' foods, but I was amazed by how good this was. Its interesting that parts of the store persimmon were a brighter orange, but it was very leathery, and didn't taste like a whole lot. The massaged one was as rumored amazingly soft, almost not like dried fruit at all, I admit I'd be afraid to keep it unrefrigerated even if someone told me I could.  I was surprised by how much the taste resembled a fresh persimmon. Admittedly a persimmon doesn't have the most subtle flavor, but I don't think I've ever eaten dried fruit that tasted so much like its fresh counterpart. For once a legend doesn't disappoint. Very exciting if you're into that sort of thing...

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