Mini Jack O’ Lanterns

Sunset magazine, Oct 2018

No, this isn’t a Halloween decoration. It’s the Japanese art of hoshigaki, and it starts this month! Last October’s issue of Sunset profiled the Yamanaka family of Northern California, detailing how they dry persimmons. From picking, air drying, and even massaging Hachiya persimmons, the entire family gets in on the action.

Once dried, the persimmons are shriveled but still moist and chewy. The sugary goodness inside will migrate to the edge, forming a white coat. They say the flavors are similar to dates and honey.

I’ve never tried persimmons in my life. What about you? They really do look like tomatoes, don’t they? That last one looks just like the roma in my fridge.

No time like the present; we’re smack dab in the middle of persimmon season. Why, you could even steal Sarah Ward’s recipe for persimmon and apple crumb pie.

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and that would make a fine Turkey Day treat!