Small treasures : Hoshigaki, Amakusa, Japan

As we walked around Kyushu’s countryside last fall, we noticed a curious pattern of persimmons hanged outside houses.

At first, we thought this was some sort of local Halloween-y thing (even if they do have pumpkins in Japan, couldn’t persimmons be a sort of miniature “kawaii” version?). Seeing them so harmoniously aligned in a sort of orange wave made us believe it was a decoration of some sort. It’s only after witnessing the same display in a very…”informal” garden shack that we thought this must had a function. Of course it has a function, and of course it’s food-related, this is Japan! Hadn’t we learned anything from our time there?

So, some googling happened and soon they were not aimless dried persimmons, but hoshigaki! The technique involves massaging the fruit as they dry (Kobe beefs, onsen-goers, persimmons, everyone gets massaged there, I must say: what a fabulous norm!), and yes, you can try it at home, instructions are this way.

I’m so sad I did not get to taste one!

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