Japanese Persimmon: Kaki

November 18, 2016

 

Kaki means two things in Japanese.  It can be fruits (persimmon) or oyster -  depends on vocal accent on the first syllable.  Yes, I know it's confusing, just like  ost (cheese) and øst (east)  in Norwegian!

In this case, I am talking about the fruits. :-)

 

My grandfather had a Kaki tree.  Kaki is the Japanese word, but it's originally from East Asia.  Now, it grows anywhere warm.  I have started seeing Kaki at the Norwegian grocery stores only in the last few years, but I believe they are from Israel or other warm countries closer to Europe.  Kaki is mild, sweet, and has bit tangy taste.  It contains good amount of vitamin A - super antioxidant and critical for healthy vision.  

One great thing about Kaki fruit in Norway which I noticed is that they are seedless!  I was used to Japanese Kaki with big shiny brown seeds, so delighted to witness seedless Kaki in Norway! 

This fruit can be eaten raw or dried like dates.  Dried kaki is called "Hoshigaki".  They are peeled, massaged, and hanged to dry until the sugar of this fruit forms dust like frost on the surface.  Hoshi Gaki can be made from both sweet Kaki and bitter Kaki.

Kaki leaves can be dried and brewed with green tea.

I usually peel Kaki, slice them, and eat as they are, serve as fruit salad, or accompany cheese.

Tips: Choose plump and soft, but not mushy ones.  The skin should be smooth, glossy, and bright colored! 

 

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