Learn the art of hoshigaki, Japanese hand-dried persimmons, in this workshop taught by cooking instructor Sonoko Sakai. Under Sonoko’s guidance you will learn how to pick, peel, hang, and massage the persimmons until they become succulently sweet, tender, and chewy. The finished dried fruit makes a beautiful gift and pairs well with cheese, biscuits, and nuts. Unlike the commercially dried fruits that get sliced up and shriveled in dehydrators, hoshigakis are dried whole in open air and regularly massaged to soften their insides and bring the fruit’s sugar to the surface. It’s a laborious monthlong process that has its roots in farming traditions in the Japanese countryside. This class is the perfect way to celebrate autumn’s bounty and welcome the coming holidays. We’ll follow our hoshigaki-making experience with a full Japanese lunch of miso soup, chirashi sushi, Japanese pickles, and a dessert. Sonoko Sakai is a food writer, cooking teacher, Japanese cuisine advocate, and producer based in Southern California. She has taught at cooking schools throughout the country and is working on her third cookbook.