Traditional Taiwanese Dried Persimmons
Traditional Taiwanese Dried Persimmons can still be seen in Xinpu Township, Hsinchu County (新竹縣新埔鎮). If you arrive at Weiweijia Persimmon Orchard (味衛佳柿餅工廠 ) during the month of September, you will see the whole persimmons drying in the open air. The colorful scene is beautiful! The fragrance of the persimmons is heavenly. The hills and terraces of Xinpu, coupled with the dry climate, make the perfect environment for drying persimmons. From the month of September through the month of December the dry winds blow. This is natures food dryer. The persimmons are dried naturally. There is no need for baking.
The modern method of drying persimmons is to slowly bake them at low heat. This prolonged baking process strips away the nutrients of the fruit. Weiweijia Orchard still dries the persimmons the traditional way. They are laid out in the sun for a week to ten days. When the fruit is completely dry, it can be kept for a long time. No refrigeration needed. In doing things the traditional way, using only the dry winds, the nutrients are kept and the fruit retains it’s a good flavor.
Weiweijia Persimmon Orchard is clean, modern, and run by knowledgeable people. They understand the fruit! They know the art of drying fresh fruit. They are professionals! The staff at the orchard is friendly. The fruit must be picked at exactly the right time. If not, the persimmons will not dry correctly. They cannot be overly ripe, or the fruit will fall apart in the drying process. The world of drying fruit is a science. It is precise! Nothing can be left to chance. The finished product will only be high quality if each step along the way is done precisely on time.
If you enjoy the fragrance of the persimmons drying in the open air, you will enjoy the Weiweijia Persimmon Orchard during the fall months. Be sure to watch the women as they peal the persimmons. Then they are carefully charcoal grilled. The grilling speeds up the drying process. It also helps the persimmons to retain their color. Fruit that is not grilled will often become dark when the air touches it. The grilling process also sterilizes the fruit, so they do not carry harmful bacteria. They are then placed on open racks and set in the sun to dry. Mid-way they can be shaped if needed. At the close of the drying period, they are put briefly in the oven to disinfect the fruit. The persimmons are then placed in the freezer for a few days. They are then taken out and packaged to sell. Drying persimmons the natural way is a science. It is a work of art. The staff at Weiweijia Persimmon Orchard invites you to join them during the windy months of fall. Come, immerse yourself in the traditional culture of drying persimmons the natural way. The air is dry! The wind is blowing! Are you ready? Grab your passport and pack your bags. Join us at the orchard.