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Where Can I get Hoshigaki?

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Where can I find hoshigaki (dried hachiya persimmons) in the Bay Area? I saw this article in sfgate:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

I'd like to get the hoshigaki in person rather than do mail order for it. Is this available in Chinatown?

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  1. The article mentions Tokyo Fish in Berkeley ... massaged dried persimmons.

    "Hoshigaki are made from whole Hachiya persimmons, meticulously peeled, that dangle from a pole for a month to dry. While drying, they are gingerly massaged every few days to redistribute the fruit's sugars and bring them to the surface in a delicate white bloom."

    3 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      I was hoping there is somewhere a bit close to home than Berkeley. I live in the Peninsula

      1. re: rworange

        The Chinese ones are different from the Japanese Hoshi-gaki. See pic:
        http://www.penrynorchardspecialties.c...

        The Chinese persimmons are Fuyu and they're mass produced and dried in dehydrators. Hoshi-gakis are bigger and it's sun dried (thus, $18+ per pound):
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

        1. re: theSauce

          Not exactly Bay Area, but they have them at Ikeda's Market in Davis right now. It's right off 80. At $16.99/lb I couldn't afford to try them but thought I would pass it along.

      2. While I've never bought any, you might try a Japanese grocery store - Nijiya or Suruki's in San Mateo.

        1. FYI, if you can't find them on the Penninsula and decide to go to Tokyo Fish, call to ask about availability. I went today and they were sold out. I guess I wasn't the only one intrigued about that Chron report about massaged dried persimmons.

          1. The Wednesday farmers' market at CSM(college of san mateo) has it - look for the lady with all the tubs of nuts!

            1 Reply
            1. re: chr

              Is the lady also there on Saturday?

            2. No, she's only there on Wed.

              1. You can ususally find them in Chinese grocery stores around JAN (maybe a bit earlier.) They are usually flattened, six (or eight?) to a bag for around two bucks.

                5 Replies
                1. re: chowchowchow

                  Wow ... what a price discrepancy.

                  Tokyo Fish had them today but they were $18.95 for about 10 ... in the produce section.

                  These weren't flat. They looked like velvety grey persimmons and were plump, but about 1/3 the mass of those pointy persimmons.

                  I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much because I'd be ticked if I spent all that money and didn't like them. Has anyone tried the hoshigaki mentioned in the Chronicle.

                  At least I have an idea of what they look like and will keep my eye open for them in local farmers markets ... unless someone tells me the pricy one are one of the best things they ever ate.

                  1. re: rworange

                    hello

                    no one has ever mentioned the korean ones. they are called ggotgam. maybe they are like the chinese ones. dont know since i havent had those. the korean ones are also flat. similar in price to the chinese ones. 8-10 for $3.00. some ar extremeley dry and chewey and others that i have had are moist and jelly like. yumms

                    1. re: doughnut

                      Most of the ggotgam are produced in China nowadays. It's apparently cheaper that way.

                      1. re: doughnut

                        I've gotten them at Kukje in Daly City in the past and thought they were quite good. No different than the ones we bought at the market in Busan.

                    2. re: chowchowchow

                      saw them at MOM for 1.70 for six...'tis the season, I guess.

                    3. 1/3 to 1/4 of the original size of a hachiya is about right, depending on the size of the original pointed oblong-conical fruit.

                      The ones that come in a bag are okay, too dry, IMO. Someone told me they use a speed drying method, packaged and flattened for export purposes.

                      Melanie Wong posted pictures of how these are made the natural way (in the sun:) http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                      When I can find large quantities of persimmons (as in someone's backyard and they can't find ways to get rid of them :-), I make them in the oven. It takes three days, but they are wonderful. Sweet, full of flavor, great texture. I've turned many a friend into hoshigaki aficionados. :-). (my mission in November is often to find large quantities of persimmons. I didn't have much luck this year :-(

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: chowchowchow

                        All you'd need to do is cruise around from San Mateo south and you'll find persimmon trees loaded looking for a place to go... In Menlo Park, San Carlos and Redwood City there are many trees like this.

                        1. re: RWCFoodie

                          care to give me a clue or two as to where in MP, SC, RC... etc. I've not been able to spot any.

                          1. re: chowchowchow

                            There's one that I drive past all the time right on the Alameda in MP - when I'm out today I'll take a look. If it's still loaded I'll get the address and post it for you!

                            1. re: chowchowchow

                              Most of the ones I've seen have been picked but this afternoon I saw a pretty large tree in a front yard just covered with fruit at 1064 Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park... Remind me next year and I'll keep a watch for you - also - would you consider posting your method to the Home Cooking thread?

                              1. re: RWCFoodie

                                the lady wants a buck each and can do six at the most. no wonder her tree is full.

                                1. re: twinpeaks

                                  Wow - you're right, now wonder her tree is full! I haven't been paying attention at the CSM Farmers Market but I'll probably be there this Weds. and I'll see what kind of prices they have there.

                            2. re: RWCFoodie

                              seen any lately?

                            3. re: chowchowchow

                              We just finished hanging hoshigaki 2 weeks ago and have sampled our very first one. It is indescribably delicious and I would recommend at least trying a good (expensive) authentic hoshigaki NOT dried persimmons which are simply an industrial product. We followed the traditional practice to a T, starting with firm Hachiya fruit cut with a T stem, peeling leaving the big sepal at the top, then hanging on strings in the bright southern california sun during a Santa Ana (5% humidity) which greatly speeded up the process (normally it takes much longer to get the product). Yes, we lovingly massaged each one. The texture of ours is hard to describe, but is nothing like "dried fruit". Incidently, the extreme astringency present in the hard Hachiya likely is the reason absolutely no flies or bees bothered these while they skinned over after being peeled.

                            4. Tokyo Fish had a large selection of them today, 2 types - one in more fancy packaging, and one in bags, sold by weight.

                              1. Saw hoshigaki at the Bowl on Thursday (Dec 14).
                                Price was about $15 (for a package or for a pound, I'm not sure).
                                I did not buy any.

                                However, an excellent purchase was Fuyu persimmons from Israel, in a little box, for about $1.69 a pound. Extremely sweet (fresh, not dried).

                                1. In LA, they're available at Mitsuwa - at a small booth within the store - so it may be worthwhile to try the Mitsuwa in S. Jose.

                                  http://www.mitsuwa.com/slh2.html

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Fig Newton

                                    I called the Mitsuwa in SJ and no luck. They expect to have them

                                  2. I bought some to try at Tokyo Fish (the ones in a baggie - not too expensive). They are SO sweet that even I can but nibble at one. Do you know if there are traditional or newer recipes that use them? I can only think to julienne them and add to a salad or maybe serve on a cheese plate. Any other ideas will be appreciated!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Guzgo

                                      I finally bought some today. Tokyo Fish was selling three types all from the same area in California.

                                      There are the bagged ones you mentioned They were $4.50 and didn't have the white bloom of the other two. They looked drier too.

                                      The hoshigaki mentioned in the Chronicle is still $22.50 for around 10 or so.

                                      I went for a small container of 4 for $9.50 from another farm that looked identical to the larger, more expensive box.

                                      Ok, I liked them. They were pleasant. I wasn't wowed. However, I liked them enough that I'll give the big package a try.

                                      These have a nice plumpness with the only sugar ... and taste ... coming from the white sugar bloom on the exterior. They didn't taste a bit like persimmon ... well, maybe. These reminded me of a mild dried date that wasn't sticky. Fresh persimmons to me have a background taste of date.

                                    2. I don't disagree with you, rworange (one day we are going to trip over each other). They worked well with a savory appetizer I made a few weeks ago - a little sampler plate of asian-esque tidbits. I almost bought more today @ Tokyo Fish ... next time.

                                      1. Hi Peach:
                                        You will get the best product by ordering directly from the producers. There are a few small farms in Placer County that make hoshigaki, or hoshi gaki, however you prefer to spell it, the old-fashioned way. the Slow Food USA website has a good description of the process and links to producers: http://slowfoodusa.org/ark/japanese_p...
                                        I have tasted the hoshi gaki from Penryn Orchard Specialties, and it is incredible, very sweet and tender. You can tell they spend a lot of time massaging the fruit.

                                         
                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: lmhauben

                                          I finally tried some hoshigaki from Penryn Orchard Specialties. I ordered them online & w/ shipping it cost me $36.07 for 9 hoshigaki ($4 each!). I thought they were ok. I agree w/ Rworange and think they tasted like mild dried dates that aren't sticky. My pics attached.

                                          Added: I love the Fresh Hachiya Fully Ripen the Best!! So sweet & yummy.

                                          Website:
                                          http://penrynorchardspecialties.com/

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                        2. I went to the Mountain View farmer's market yesterday, and Hamada Farms (I think that is the name-- they are located on the side closest to the train tracks, sort of mid-way, with an awning overhead that makes their booth kind of darkish. I go for the grapes, but they also sell lots of bins of dried fruit) had dried persimmons that looked and tasted like the hoshigaki I've had in Japan, though they looked a bit flatter, so I don't know what kind of persimmons they use. They had samples out, so you can sample them. They were $5 for a packet of 6 or so. I believe they are also at the Ferry Plaza farmer's market, if you are closer to SF.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: anzu

                                            Or make your own:
                                            http://www.hawaiifruit.net/hoshigaki.jpg

                                          2. We Love Jam, a small local producer, sells hoshigaki by mail order, 4 for $15. http://www.welovejam.com/shop/index.p...

                                            1. Here's the real deal: http://www.otoworchard.com/

                                              More about them:
                                              http://www.cfbf.com/magazine/Magazine...

                                              East of Sacramento - call for Bay Area suppliers, or order them - they won't be long by UPS.

                                              1. Found some at Costco. two taped clear boxes, about 12 in each box. They are flat cake shaped (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34535...) vs. elongated drooping kind (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34693...) (Chinese kind vs. Japaneses kind?)

                                                Quite good. Much better than the China town 6-to-a-flat-palstic-tray variety.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: twinpeaks

                                                  Saw a KCET program on the local PBS called 'California's Gold ' a few days ago that visited Otow Orchards up near Sacto to film their hoshgaki 'process'. Episode #10011 on the 'Cal Gold' site. VERY labor intensive and hands on to say the least. A husband/wife and a Mom hand peeling, hanging and massaging thousands of them! Pretty neat. I'm in Berkeley and next time I'm in 'Tokyo Fish Mkt' I'm sure going to keep an eye out for some, price no object.