Persimmon’s Of Weiweijia Orchard
Welcome to the Weiweijia Orchard, home to some of the best persimmons in Taiwan. Fall has arrived in the mountain villages of eastern Hsinchu County, Taiwan, and the villages, no matter how small are alive with excitement, as it is time to harvest and dry the persimmons.
The villages are small, consisting mainly of the main avenue, and things move very slowly and peacefully. Fields are ripe and ready to harvest, with many vegetables, fruit orchards, and rice farms all around each of these tiny villages. But the highlight of them all is the persimmon harvest from late September to late December. The village of Hsinpu is perhaps one of the best-known villages during persimmon harvest, as it is the closest village to Weiweijia Orchard, one of the best known Traditional Hakka Persimmon Orchards in Hsinchu County.
So what sets the small village of Hsinpu apart from others, and how does Weiweijia Orchard fit into the puzzle? This is the center of Hakka culture, and here you see history come alive into everyday life. Traditional values are important here and many of the farms are well known for doing things the traditional way. Weiweijia Orchard is committed to bringing the cultural past of the Hakka people alive, and the persimmons are dried and cared for as they have always been. This is Hakka culture and history at work today!
Fall Is The Season Of Traditional Dried Persimmons In Taiwan
The mountains in Hsinchu County grow an abundance of persimmons. Some of the farmers just export them to fruit markets in the USA and throughout the world, others, using traditional Hakka methods, dry the fruit as it has always been done. At Weiweijia Orchard, and many other traditional orchards, visitors are free to roam and watch all the different steps that go into drying the fruit. The fragrance of the fresh fruit drying in the sun is heavenly.
In Taiwan, no matter if the fruit is being dried and cared for like the Haka have done it for centuries, or if they are done by modern methods, the fruit is hand-picked fresh daily, washed, and the skins removed. Drying persimmons in Taiwan is an art, and the finished product a delicacy enjoyed throughout Asia.
Smiling Faces Greet You As You visit Weiweijia Orchard
So why is the Weiweijia Orchard such a special place for tourists? One, it is one of the few places where you can see each step of the drying process. It is also really close to the village of Hsinpu, making it convenient. Most people find that it takes no more than 10-15 minutes to walk to the farm from the village. That makes it really convenient and pleasurable. Put perhaps the greatest draw of all, is all the smiling faces willing to pose for photos. These beloved workers all dressed in traditional Hakka attire are perhaps one of the greatest assets to the farm, after the fruit itself.
Friendly Workers Drying The Fruit With Traditional Methods
If you are a photographer, you will love all the photo opportunities at this traditional Hakka orchard. As you approach the farm, you will see a traditional home with persimmons drying. Everything about this traditional Hakka farm is unique to the way things have always been among the Hakka. As you continue to the main orchard, you will see the bulk of the persimmons drying in the Taiwanese sun. There are many ways to see the drying racks, including a traditional viewing platform that is accessible by a small flight of stairs.
What a special opportunity it is to spend the day immersed in the traditional Hakka culture. There is so much to see and learn. Welcome to the living history of an ancient people, the Hakka.
These Persimmons Represent Centuries Of Wisdom
Centuries ago, the Hakka had many wars and was always on the flight. It was in that time period that they began drying everything. They would either dry or cure all their food so that if needed, it was easy to transport. The dried persimmons were their main food source during these tough times. Dried food is light and easy to take with you when you must flee.
Thousands Of Persimmons Drying In The Sun
The fall in this area of Taiwan is dry, lacking in rain, and the winds continue to blow day after day. The Hakka, working with the land, the lack of rain, and the wind have for centuries found that this is the time for drying the persimmons. This is a perfect time, the perfect place, and the right people to make drying persimmons a success story.
Persimmons Drying In The Sun
So have you ever wondered what you would do with so many persimmons? One of the most unique teas is made from persimmons and ginger with spices. Let’s give this amazing tea a try!
Amazing Persimmon Tea
Take about ten dried persimmon slices with a 4-inch piece of ginger sliced. Add to a pot with 2-3 cups of water (for stronger tea use less water). Then add the following spices: 1-2 tsp peppercorns, 1-2 sticks of cinnamon, 1-star anise, 1 pod cardamom, 1 tsp fennel, and 1-2 cloves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Strain off the spices and serve black or with milk and a touch of honey. Delicious!
Note: This tea was inspired by a recipe from Mountain Field Farm Supply and changed to make the perfect cup by a member of the Explore Traveler Team. Everybody has their own idea for what makes that perfect cup of tea.
Dried Persimmon Cakes Are A Sweet Traditional Dessert In Taiwan
What a magnificent sight as you comb the hills in Hsinchu County for the famous persimmons drying in the Autumn weather of Taiwan. Autumn is a perfect time, as it is dry and the fall winds blow. This is the perfect time of year for making mouth-watering Persimmon Cakes. On their own, they are delicious, and they can be served in so many ways.
One of the mouth-watering ways to eat these persimmon cakes is to make a simple two-ingredient snack. Take a large dish that is then lined with parchment paper and slice however many persimmons you desire to bake. It is best if you slice them nice and thin. Cover the pan with the sliced persimmons and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Place in the oven at 350 degrees. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool slightly. Serve while warm. This is a well-loved snack among children and adults alike. It is delicious! It is fast! It is amazing!
More Persimmons Drying In The Sun
This is the land of the Hakka, and there are many farms that dry the persimmons the traditional way. Have you ever thought about what is the best way to eat one of these Persimmon Cakes? By far the favorite seems to be, to just get a spoon, and spoon out the lovely custard in the middle. Certainly, that is a marvelous way to eat one of these deliciously dried persimmons.
Another easy way that many like is to spread the fruit on a pan and let it dry some more. Then cut in strips and roll-up. The children call them fruit roll-ups. With no added sugar, it certainly is healthy. Others like to make juices and smoothies with the fruit. One delicious option is to take persimmons and ginger and put them in a blender. Blend and serve. Can you get any easier and still be delicious?
Making A Delicious Persimmon Wine
In looking for a good, but easy, Persimmon Wine Recipe, I found this one by “The Inn at the Crossroads.” It was taken from their website just as it was shared: http://www.innatthecrossroads.com/readyish-tart-persimmon-wine/
Tart Persimmon Wine Recipe
Makes 1 gallon
- 3 lbs. ripe persimmons
- 7 pints Water (enough to fill)
- 3 cups of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoons Pectic Enzyme
- 1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (optional)
- 1 pkg wine yeast
- 1 Tbs. saffron (optional)
- 1 large glass jug, at least 1/5 gal. (two jugs are ideal, for moving wine back and forth between them.