here it is, the result of my great hoshigaki experiment, henceforth to be known as the great hoshigaki debacle. yep, thats them, those darkly menacing figures swaying gently in their own fetid breeze. it all went very well for the first two and a half weeks or so, the fruits merrily drying and wrinkling and looking oh-so-festive hanging out my window. and then it happened. they arrived. the great gushing rot-inducing rains commenced. my little orange-tan nuggets bloated up like mc donald's big mac scarfing teenagers. valiantly i attempted to save them, bringing them inside and singing gently to them each evening to the accompaniment of a handheld hair dryer. to no avail. daily they grew blacker and blacker until they were nothing more than macabre garlands of decay strung along the walls of my hallway. when, after a month more of this, my man demanded that i throw them away, i did not object. they were beginning to stink.
and here is a closeup. coal black and mushy inside. it appears to have sprouted a few good-luck hairs as well...
needless to say i was crushed and delighted at the same time. they turned out so horrendously nasty i couldn't help but giggle. however i was still in need of my hoshigaki fix. i cruised the net and found a place, starr ranch, that sells dried persimmons. this is what i received in the mail. not hoshigaki but rather sliced and air-dried persimmons. very pretty and quite tasty in their own right but not what i was after.
then lo and behold, one fine december day whilst cruising the aisles of the japanese grocery store, what did mine eyes behold but these guys. the real deal. hoshigaki.
sadly enough they weren't very good. they lacked the essence of persimmon flavor i so vividly recalled from my aunt's home dried persimmons. maybe i will try again next year...
shortly thereafter, the sacramento bee came out with another article about the revival of this artisanal process with mail order sources for ordering the real deal. slowfood la has a link to the pdf here if you're interested in learning more about hoshigaki or ordering some yourself.