Tsurushi-gaki: cold sea wind slowly turns persimmons sweet
HYOGO, Dec. 3 – The making of tsurushi-gaki (hang-dried persimmon) on the Kannabe Plateau in Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture, is now in the very final stage.
Members of the association of hang-dried persimmon producers in Kannabe tied two Oomino or Hiratane-nashi persimmons, picked in November, to a string and hung them for about a month to dry. Currently, the producers are busy massaging the persimmons to make them softer in texture. The association will start selling them in mid-December.
Cold wind blowing from the Sea of Japan helps the persimmons go dry and generate rich sweetness and smooth texture. They are popular among skiers visiting the plateau and people looking for something good for year-end gifts. The association ships approximately 50,000 persimmons in winter to local michi-no-eki, Japan’s government-designated rest stops, and supermarkets in the prefecture.
“We had to delay the work because the temperature drop was slow this year, but they are excellent in quality,” said Tetsuzo Kitamura, the association’s sales manager. “I want you to sit at a kotatsu (a traditional table with a heater) and enjoy the persimmons with a cup of hot green tea.”