Otow Orchards keeps tasty tradition alive

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Otow Orchard in Granite Bay recently hosted an open house sponsored by Placer Land Trust to show appreciation for the contributions that local farmers make to the economy and environment. This time of year Otow Orchard devotes much of its time to harvesting, peeling and massaging its dried persimmons, or hoshigaki as they are called in Japanese. Otow Orchard is known for preserving this Japanese art. The process involves taking fresh persimmons and drying them in a slow, hands-on process that usually takes three to six weeks per persimmon. Each persimmon is hand-peeled, strung onto a rack, and massaged every three to five days for several weeks. Weather conditions are watched carefully. The result is a transformation into a sugary delicacy that is tender and moist with concentrated persimmon flavor. ~ Staff report