This is one of the episodes of California’s Gold that I managed to miss, and it caught me by surprise because the farm that Huell visits is not far down the road from where I live — in fact, I believe I must have driven right by the place not long ago and never even realized it was there. It’s amazing to think that this orchard has been right here since 1911 while the community has continued to grow and change around it.
I also can’t say I’m familiar with the process of drying persimmons, although now that I’ve watched this episode I’m wondering how to get my hands on some to sample!
Huell spends the day in Granite Bay California at Otow Orchard to learn the ancient art of Hoshigaki, which is the drying of persimmons.The persimmons are dried each fall in a slow, patient, hands-on process that usually takes three to six weeks…per persimmon. Each persimmon is hand-peeled, strung onto a rack, and massaged every 3 to 5 days for several weeks. Weather conditions are watched carefully. The result is a transformation into a sugary delicacy that is tender and moist.