Sunday, February 12, 2012

Veggieosity: Hoshigaki


Hoshigaki. No, I'd never heard of one either. But, if you're anything like me, you're curious, and want to know what the heck these things are, and what they taste like.

Hoshigaki is a dried persimmon, specifically one that has been peeled and dried whole over several weeks through hanging and hand-massaging. During this process, the sugars in the fruit form the surface dusting that looks kind of like powdered sugar.

When I saw these at my local grocery store, I couldn't help but put them in my basket. I mean, the description alone was enough to make me want to tear into the little plastic baggie and take a bite right there in the store. Intensified persimmon flavor?! Sold.

At $12.50 a pound, though, I wasn't about to go nutso buying them. But, I believe in a little adventure and satisfying your curiosity, so I indulged and bought 2 of them (which still set me back 3 bucks!)

My 2 little hoshigaki
If you've never had a persimmon, try and track one down (and click the link). They are orange and vary in size and kind of look like a tomato. You can eat the skin, though I find it kind of waxy and thick and prefer to eat the fruit's flesh. Speaking of which, it's a completely unique flavor, with a hint of cinnamon and sort of a mild-sweetness, and texture that's almost like a mango. But the sweetness and texture also vary by the type and size of the persimmon.

As for dried persimmon, that's something I'd never seen. I love dried fruit- from your most basic raisin or cranberry, to banana, mango, dates, pineapple, cherries, blueberries, and strawberries. The drying makes the fruit chewier and sweet, just like candy. But, sometimes if you get the wrong kind, it's overkill- some packages over-process and sugar the dried fruit, so it doesn't taste like anything but fakeness. The dried persimmions in my store looked pretty natural, so I was interested to see what they'd taste like, especially given my new-found love of fresh persimmons.

These were just like a sweet, chewy, cinnamony persimmon candy - thick & chewy on the outside, with a natural gummy candy consistency and mild cinnamon flavor on the inside. If I had to pick, I think I'd still go for a fresh persimmon over the dried ones.  Definitely a tasty snack though, and worth trying!

So, veggieosity satisfied! For now...

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