In our fast-paced modern culture, people want everything "fast", but the best things in life take time. We finally tasted the persimmons (kaki) that were hanging and drying in our kitchen window for the last two months. It was so good -- and the best we've ever had!
There are two basic varieties of persimmons... The "non-astringent" persimmons (Fuyu), one can often eat right away when it's ripe -- crunchy and sweet. An then there is the "astringent" persimmon (Hachiya) -- bitter and unedible unless you wait until they are "extremely" ripe (soft, sweet, mushy), or one can dry them. I personally don't like the soft and mushy texture.
Our relatives have a persimmon tree of the astringent kind. Every year, we would get a bag full of them that would sit around until we got tired of them. This year, we got the (very old) idea of dry the persimmons. Drying the persimmons is the Japanese traditional way that people have done for hundreds of years.
As our "experiment", we peeled the persimmons, and hung them up with strings to dry. During the Christmas holidays, the peeled fruits appeared like bright orange-colored ornaments decorating our kitchen window.
However, one lesson we've learned is to not let the persimmons get "too ripe" before peeling them -- especially if they are large. If the fruits become too ripe and soft in the beginning, the persimmons will eventually "drip" (water) after the outer surface dries, and then drop off from the string -- plop! We had a couple casualties, but next time, we'll know better.
Here's a close up photo below.
One interesting item to note is that insects don't seem to be attracted to these hanging persimmons, and there's no need for concern over bacteria and mold. We did eat them after two months without any refrigeration, and survived with a smile. :-) It's probably the astringency and the sugar content that acts as preservatives.
After drying, the persimmon looks like the photo below.
We just cut it up, and eat it. Hikaru likes these dried persimmons so much that he always asks for "more".