A Unique Opportunity to Learn about Hoshigaki

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Otow Orchard in Granite Bay is offering local foodies a rare treat: a demonstration of the ancient art of persimmon-drying, called hoshigaki.

The public is invited to an open house at historic Otow Orchard on Saturday, November 14th to tour the farm, meet owners Chris Otow Kuratomi and Tosh Kuratomi, and discover the unique charms of hoshigaki, a traditional Japanese holiday gift associated with long life and good fortune.

Hoshigaki are whole persimmons that are peeled, hung with string over a pole and carefully hand-massaged over several weeks until the sugars contained in the fruit form a delicate “bloom” – a surface dusting that looks like frost. At the end of this painstaking process, the resultant fruit is succulently tender and moist, with a concentrated persimmon flavor.

The hoshigaki method is traditional to Japan, and was introduced to California by Japanese farmers who settled in Placer County in the late 1800’s. Because they are so labor-intensive, hoshigaki have all but disappeared from commercial production. However, the art of persimmon drying is experiencing a vibrant revival in Placer County, and if you look carefully, you may find packages of hoshigaki for sale at your local farmers’ market. They’re not cheap, but they taste marvelous – and they make a great gift for the food lovers on your holiday list.

Date: Saturday, November 14th, 2009
Time: 1pm to 3pm
Location: Otow Orchard, 6232 Eureka Road, Granite Bay; www.otoworchard.com
For more information: Call (916)791-1656