|Alternative names||Dried persimmon|
|Region or state||East Asia|
|Main ingredients||Oriental persimmon|
Dried persimmon is a type of traditional dried fruit snack in East Asia. Known as shìbǐng (柿餅) in Chinese, hoshigaki (干し柿) in Japanese, and gotgam (곶감) in Korean, it is traditionally made in the winter, by air drying Oriental persimmon. It is a popular snack food in East Asia, and is also used to make wine, and in creating other desserts.
Dried persimmon are made from various varieties of Oriental persimmon. Persimmons, when fully ripe, are thin-skinned, soft and sweet. Persimmons used to create dried persimmons are harvested when they are under-ripe, firm, astringent, and bitter.
In China, the persimmon fruit are peeled and dried on wooden trays after harvesting.
In Japan, the fruit are peeled and then suspended by strings from their stems. They are massaged daily after they have started to dry. This gives the dried persimmon from Japan a distinctive shape and texture that is different from those from China and Korea. Anpo-gaki is a variation of Japanese dried persimmon in which the persimmon is dried by fumigating with sulphur, resulting in a soft, juicy texture.
In Korea, the persimmons are peeled and dried, tied with saekki (rice straw ropes) and hung in sunny, well-ventilated place, for example to the eaves of the house. When the color turns brown and the outer part hardens, the seeds are removed and the persimmons are sealed again and flattened. After around three weeks, when the fruits reach 75% of their original weight, they are covered in dried rice straw and stored in a box in a cool place until the drying process is completed, and a white powdery crust of persimmon sugar forms on the outside. Sangju in North Gyeongsang Province is famous for its dried persimmons.
Korean gotgam usually consists of 32% moisture, 6.3% protein, 0.44% fat, 44.8% carbohydrate, 15% fiber, and 1.99% ash. calories (32g/ea) : 75.8kcal
In Korean cuisine, dried persimmons can be consumed themselves, or used as an ingredient in other foods. For example, gotgam-ssam (dried persimmon wrap) is made by wrapping a walnut with dried persimmon. Dried persimmon with pine nuts inserted are served with suksil-gwa (a fruit confection) or fresh fruits. Dried persimmons are also one of the main ingredients for sujeonggwa (cinnamon punch).
In popular culture
Korean gotgam-mari (dried persimmon rolls) served with strawberries and Andong sikhye
Japanese kagami mochi served with dried persimmon-skewers
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