Thomas Keller’s restaurant, The French Laundry, just posted an Instagram photo of what initially appeared to be pretty, light orange lanterns, acorn-shaped and hung at different heights from a simple piece of twine. Then we remembered what time of year this is.
Those lanterns are actually freshly peeled Hachiya persimmons, hung to dry so that they may become Hoshigaki — persimmons that are dried whole over several weeks through a combination of hanging and delicate hand-massaging, until the sugars form a dusting that looks like frost.
Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste program wrote about them a while ago (we’re super curious about what Keller intends to do with them) and included names of purveyors who carried this quality-crafted and rarely available Japanese delicacy. For our L.A. members — look to Penryn Orchards at the Santa Monica Farmers Market for a taste of this elusive treat.
We found this very helpful and comprehensive video on how to make your own Hoshigaki. Start now and have them ready in time for the new year — it’s one of the traditional holiday treats.