Update: 10:26 | 21/10/2019
The making of dried persimmons, which is hailed as the most delicious dried fruit made in Da Lat city, Lam Dong province, requires a lot of time and sophisticated techniques.
The distance between the cotton strings to string persimmons up is around 25cm so that the fruits will receive enough sun and breeze.
The Golden Valley, Khe Sanh area, and Da Lat city’s suburban areas such as Trai Mat and Cau Dat are home to around 300 facilities producing dried persimmons. The areas also host hundreds of hills being covered with persimmon-growing gardens.
The persimmon season in Da Lat often lasts from mid-September to late November or early December.
In the past, farmers used to harvest ripen persimmons and sell them to traders. In 2012, persimmon growers from Japan and agricultural experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency visited Da Lat and gave instructions to more than 100 local farmers on how to make dried persimmons using traditional Japanese techniques which take advantage of natural wind and sunlight.
Accordingly, after being harvested, the fruits are washed with clean water to remove dust.
The persimmons are then simply peeled, leaving the stems.
After being peeled, the fruits are cleaned again.
According to Tran Binh, owner of the Hoang Binh dried persimmon manufacturing business, it takes from 20 to 30 days to produce savoured dried persimmons as the process depends on weather condition, temperature and humidity. Unfavourable weather with week-long rain and little sun can leave the producers empty-handed.
After that, the fruits are tied on their stems with a string with a distance of 25 cm from each other so that every persimmon will receive enough sunlight and breeze.
After around 15 days, the fruit will turn darker, and shrink.
The farmers then begin to gently massage each persimmon to make the fruit chewier.
According to Binh, dried persimmons using traditional method are sold at VND200,000 – VND250,000 per kilogramme, and VND400,000 – VND420,000 for those using Japanese technique.