YES, WE CAN: Making Dried Persimmons (干し柿）
What do you say marks an autumn? Viewing autumn leaves, abundance of fruits, shorter days, or newly harvested rice?
For me, it is the time I make dried persimmons!
I visited my parents' grave at Minami Alps City in Yamanashi Pref. on Nov. 6.
There are a lot of orchards of grapes, peaches, plums, persimmons, and so on in this district. Every autumn I buy persimmons at JA Shirane Market in Minami Alps City. Some may say it's almost impossible to make dried persimmons here in Chiba. Yes, we can. After peeling out the persimmons, I dip them in boiling water for ten minutes and hang them out to dry for nearly a month. I spray shochu liquor once to avoid getting them moldy.
They are Hyakume persimmons and were named after Hyaku monme(100 匁). Monme is a weight unit and the Weights and Measures Act promulgated（発布した）in 1891(Meiji 24) set the weight of 1 monme at 3.75 grams. When the metric system was implemented in 1959(Showa 34), monme gradually went out of use. I actually found that one Hyakume persimmon weighed close to 375 grams. Due to the hard pronunciation of "Hyaku monme kaki", they changed to call them "Hyakume Kaki".
They're persimmons after two weeks and are eatable if you like soft ones.
They're persimmons after three weeks.
They're persimmons after four weeks. They've perfectly dried.
I hull the persimmons(ヘタを取る), wrap dried persimmons each in plastic wrap and refrigerate them. I freeze some of them for a coming new year.
Dried persimmons are rich in dietary fiber and vitamin A, while vitamin C is lost.
When you need Vitamin C, you may as well eat fresh persimmons.
Have a nice time!