Persimmon is a common fruit in Japan. The Japanese kaki is yellow and orange. The taste is very sweet (high in glucose), and the crisp pulp turns juicy and jelly-like as it gets matures.
|The Common "Fuyu" Type|
How is “Kaki” Enjoyed?
The young fruit has a high tannin content, which makes it quite bitter and astringent to the taste. Usually, a special type of shochu alcohol is used to remove the uncomfortable taste. Or, the immature fruit is peeled and hung with strings (often seen under the edge of roofs) until it is dry and enjoyable. “Hoshigaki” (dried persimmon) are popular accompaniment for teas as snacks.
|Dried Persimmons in May at Komagatake Onsen Restaurant|
“Radish” is Unnecessary to Mention, When it Comes to Pickling.
Besides eaten raw or dried, the fruit is also used as pickling agent to make Kakizuke, which literally means “Persimmon-Pickled.”
This explains how much Akita people are obsessed with various techniques of pickling radishes using different methods – smoked, with glory vines, grapes – and of course, with persimmons!
Persimmon-Pickled: Sweet, Sour, And Crispy Radish To Get Addicted!
To make Kakizuke, "Persimmon-Pickled Radishes", all you need is fresh radishes, young (astringent) persimmons, and salt. You need only these 3 ingredients to get this simple and natural flavor. Then the radishes are preserved over 20 -30 days, with a heavy rock or weight on top of it, until it turn out sweet and aromatic.
|Persimmon Tree at the Matsumoto Residence|
|Persimmons are broken into pieces.|
|Salt and the ground persimmon are poured on top of the washed whole radishes.|
Kakizuke, ready to be served.
The fruity sweetness of persimmon and sourness of radish come in perfect balance! The crisp texture is also another reason why you would get addicted to it. Before you know it, you will be eating lots of radishes and clearly understand why Akita people consume so many radishes in a year!
You can find it at local grocery stores or served as a side dish at restaurants and hotels. Enjoy!