Hanging by a thread

It’s persimmon time (or kaki for those who prefer the Japanese term) and we have access to plenty of fruit via our friend’s Mum who lives several blocks away from Chez Fork. We are happily eating the bletted fruit but are also exploring drying persimmons Japanese style.By way of explanation the fruit of the astringent varieties of persimmon must be allowed to go beyond ripe in a process known as /bletting/ before they can be eaten. This process is also applicable to other fruits such as medlars. I thought that this term sounded like something from Old English but discovered via Wikipedia, that is in fact a fairly recent borrowing from the French, coined by John Lindsay in 1848 in his book /Introduction to Botany/.

As for the Japanese they traditionally preserve persimmons by peeling, sun drying, kneading and brushing them, over the period of a month to produce a naturally sugar-coated product. These end up being a highly-prized, not to mention extremely expensive gift item. Given the amount of effort we???ve been through so far just to get them to the hanging to dry stage I think the cost is quite justified. Details of the history and the methods involved can be found via the links.

I spent over an hour the other day tyeing strings to the stems of the fruit. I was halfway through tyeing loops to hang them by when TB pointed out that the strings were too long and wouldn’t fit in the drying box. As we do not have a house with lovely wooden eaves to hang our fruit from we have resorted to the insect-proof box we usually use for drying herbs. This needs to be taken out during the day and brought back in in the evening. There didn???t seem to be much happening with the fruit but when compared the fruit we hung last week (on the left) and that which we prepared yesterday the first batch has already shrunk by about a quarter of it???s original size.



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