Almost as if they have been painted. The persimmons that just arrived not only look as though they were freshly picked, their taste tells me that they are: sweet, succulent and juicy. Irresistible, especially to my one-year old who just learns to speak. Her vocabulary is rather limited, but “Kaki” (how persimmons are called in Japan as well as Germany) and “more” is something that we hear quite often these days.
In Japan persimmon season starts a little earlier than in Europe, but right now you can get wonderful fruit at the peak of their season – in Japan called shun. Don’t be tempted to buy them in a supermarket, unless you want to be disappointed.
In a traditional Japanese kitchen nothing goes to waste and as such I not only use the flesh of persimmons. I also have a wonderful use for the peels, as long as they are organically grown. So on my mission to find persimmons that grown accordingly I came across Quiero Naranjas. Quiero Naranjas is a company, run by two brothers, that is specialized in growing tropical fruits in Valencia, Spain. They pick, very carefully wrap and ship the fruit right after your order so that you get to enjoy them when their flavors peak. The persimmons are usually ready for ordering in November, but you can witness their growth on the website all year long.
In my kitchen dried persimmons peels are a seasoning for my nuka-pot, which I use to prepare nuka-zuke. Nuka-zuke is a very traditional type of tsukemono –the Japanese way of pickling and fermenting, which will be featured here soon. To dry them I carefully shave the flesh completely off the (washed) peels before I spread them out to air-dry them above the heater for about 24 to 48 hours.
So until today, I have not managed to get anything more than the peels. The rest vanished completely in my youngest daughter’s little tummy. So I will order more. For my little one but also because there are so many wonderful dishes that I have been waiting to prepare for almost a year now and which I would like to introduce. So stay tuned for some ideas how to prepare persimmons the Japanese way.