Having grown up in the US Midwest, I knew what a persimmon was…. a hard, bitter, and astringent fruit which grew more or less wild and had little to recommend it beyond the next town down the road had a festival honoring it. Seeing a display of carefully laid out white things with a passing resemblance to dried apricots intrigued me, but the picture of a persimmon on the package put me off…. Until I noticed they were selling quite quickly, so I put my prior experience aside and bought a package.
My first taste was quite tentative despite knowing that Asian persimmons are a bit better for eating than American persimmons, but I was well rewarded with my first taste of Hoshigaki. To call it a dried persimmon would be quite an injustice; these persimmons have been peeled and then massaged as they dried, bringing the sugars out to form a white layer on the outside while the inside is a concentrated pulp full of all the good things that the Japanese persimmons contain with none of the negatives I grew up with.