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Massage persimmons to preserve them

Jan 15, 2013 -
   
  Massage persimmons to preserve them
Peel and hang Hachiya persimmons to dry, and massage them every few days. Sweet reward!
 
   

Have you ever massaged a persimmon?

Hoshigaki massage is one way to preserve persimmons, and enhance their sweetness too.

There are many ways to preserve persimmons.

In our new video Tricia talks about freezing persimmons whole to preserve them.

You can also slice and dry them in a dehydrator.

Massage persimmons to bring out sweetness and preserve them


The massage and dry technique is for Hachiya persimmons. Hachiyas are the pointy ones with high tannin, and will make you pucker up if you eat them unripe.


Fuyu persimmons look like squat, orange apples. They are low in tannin and can be eaten raw with no trouble.

This Hachiya persimmon is not squishy and fully ripe, but this is the time you want to pick it for massaging, when it is still firm.

Drying and massaging persimmons is a technique from Japan called hoshigaki.

WHEN TO PICK

Depending on your climate, pick the fruit anytime from the end of September on into November. The fruit should have good color and be completely firm.

HOW TO PICK

Snap off or cut the fruit with several inches of stem to use as a hanger.


HOW TO HANG FOR DRYING

Peel the fruit and hang it from string in a warm, covered location with lots of air circulating. The fruits should not touch each other. Make the strings long enough so the fruits will be easy for you to reach.

HOW TO MASSAGE PERSIMMONS

After 3-7 days of hanging, the fruit will form a new “skin”. This is when you can start the massages. Leave the fruit on its hanger and gently massage it to break up the hard interior. Repeat this every 3-5 days for 3-5 weeks.


HOW TO KNOW THE PERSIMMONS ARE READY

The final outcome is a dried, wrinkled persimmon covered with a white, sugary “bloom”. The fruit will have gone from hard to a firm pulp. You can choose whether to “harvest” the dried fruit when it is still moist inside, or you can continue until the fruit is completely dry and very chewy.

HOW TO STORE DRIED PERSIMMONS

Cut off the stem and string. Some people use a rolling pin to gently flatten the persimmons. Pack them in airtight containers for your pantry or give them to deserving friends—these are not dried apricots that can last for months, so go ahead and enjoy them within a few weeks.

Ready to try this? Plant a Hachiya persimmon tree if you live in USDA zones 7-9; at maturity the tree will give you 330-660 fruits. Lots of luscious, vitamin-packed fruit to dry, eat, and share.

For more information about massaging persimmons in hoshigaki, read the story of a Northern California family farm in Granite Bay that carries on the tradition and a Los Angeles Times article about the hoshigaki revival. Placer County, California is a leader in this, thanks to the Japanese immigrant families and the University of California.

HOW TO DRY PERSIMMONS IN A DEHYDRATOR

Persimmons are also delicious when sliced and dried in our Excalibur and Nesco food dehydrators. We don’t know why, but the drying removes the bitter tannin, leaving an almost melony flavor in the fruit. Find a drying recipe here.

Photo credits: Coniferconifer and David Karp.


Categories: Fruit Trees, Persimmon Trees, Food Processing & Preservation, Food Dehydrator, Edible Landscaping, Urban Gardening & farming


Gale Green Says:
Jan 19th, 2013 at 1:21 pm

When ordering a bare-root tree from you, how long does it take for it to produce fruit? what is “at maturity” ?  Thanks.

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Jan 19th, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Gale, The number of years varies with the kind of tree. We have that information at the main page for each type of fruit tree. Here is the home page for Fruit Trees http://www.groworganic.com/seasonal-items/fruit-trees.html Click on that, then click on the kind of tree you’re interested in (apple or peach, for instance). The page that comes up next will have general information about that kind of fruit tree, including how long it takes to produce fruit. Our bare root trees are typically 2 years old, so if the tree takes 4 years to produce fruit, that will happen 2 years after you have planted it. Hope this is helpful!

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Jan 19th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Gale, Here is the main page for persimmon trees, which fruit in their 3rd year http://www.groworganic.com/seasonal-items/fruit-trees/persimmon-trees.html

Nancy Hilty Says:
Nov 15th, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Hi, I want to try drying my Hachiya persimmons for Hoshigaki. Both your video and the photos at Otow Orchards show them drying outside, but your text says do it in a warm, dry place, like a garage. Which is right?
I also tend to have an ant and rat problem in my garage, so I’d like to know if they drip during the drying period?
Thank you!

Charlotte from Peaceful Valley Says:
Nov 21st, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Nancy, No they don’t drip while drying. I’m afraid the ants and rats in your garage would regard the persimmons as a wonderful gift to them, and eat them up. They need to dry in a warm. dry place that is also safe from flying or walking pests. We know of people who dry them outdoors on screened porches in the Central Valley of California, or indoors in lofts in colder climates. I hope you have a spot besides your garage so you can experiment with this. By the way, we just posted a recipe today for drying persimmons in a food dehydrator http://groworganic.com/organic-gardening/recipes/dried-persimmons which you could try if the massaging does not seem to be in the cards for you.

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