Sweet persimmons

Illustration By Mark Stivers

“There’s a farm out here?” my husband asked as we drove through Granite Bay’s sprawl. There sure is: After a while (a long while), developments give way to fields. That’s where you’ll find Otow Orchards, where a family of Japanese-American farmers has been growing persimmons and other fruit since 1911. Right now, you’ll find not only several varieties of the fresh fruit and hoshigaki (soft dried persimmons) for sale at their farm stand (“Toot for fruit,” says the sign in the parking lot, in case the owners aren’t around), but also something unusual: what farmer Tosh Kuratomi calls vodka persimmons. These are the hyakume variety, which can be either sweet or mouth-puckeringly, shockingly tannic. Treated with a few drops of vodka applied to the calyx and let stand a few days, they become soft, juicy, and utterly delicious, with a sweet and almost cinnamony flavor that’s the essence of late fall. 6232 Eureka Road, Granite Bay, (916) 791-1656.