The Japanese persimmon, scientific name Diospyros kaki. There are over 1,000 varieties, falling into 2 main types: sweet persimmons, which are unique to Japan, and astringent persimmons, which must be dried or otherwise processed to make them edible. The sight of drying persimmons hanging from farmhouse eaves is a very nostalgic one in Japan. On this edition of BEGIN Japanology, our theme is persimmons. This fruit's unique history in Japan can tell us a lot about the Japanese approach to food.
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