DUBAI: Anpo-gaki, or Japanese semi-dried persimmons, is gaining popularity in Dubai thanks to its unique taste and excellent nutritional value.
Renowned for its beautiful orange color and versatility across a variety of cuisines, anpo-gaki made its foray into Dubai and is now the latest addition on menu cards and in supermarkets.
Anpo-gaki’s birthplace is located to Fukushima prefecture in Japan. No wonder then it is considered ‘The Pride of Fukushima’.
Like dates or figs, these dried fruits have started to add exciting new flavors to Arabic cuisine.
According to Koji Matsushita, Culinary Development Manager, Carvaan, “you get a little more sweetness and density with dates or figs. Since anpo-gaki is also soft, you can use them with almost any other type of texture, such as nuts or any meat or fish, and they will work well. He adds that its sweetness is subtle, and they are moderately firm and easy to cook.
Yosuke Kikuchi, anpo-gaki Factory Manager, said that farmers in Date City, Fukushima, adopted the technology of American dried raisins and started production a hundred years ago.
“Their most distinctive feature is its orange colour that is maintained by smoking them with sulphur. Another attribute is that they are semi-raw and creamy,” added Kikuchi.
In addition, anpo-gaki is very rich in fibre, with approximately twice that is found in bananas. Research showed that the drying process increased the amount of Vitamin A — known to maintain healthy skin and eyes.
“Anpo-gaki is synonymous with the Fukushima prefecture, and I am confident that they will be enjoyed by people in the Middle East too,” noted Kikuchi.
Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, anpo-gaki enhances digestion, uplifts vision, improves the heart’s functioning, and even prevents chronic ailments such as diabetes and cancer. It has skin rejuvenating compounds as well.
Including anpo-gaki as part of the regular diet averts eye ailments. It is an excellent addition to the diet to bolster heart health. When eaten in moderation, the fruit has no side effects and can be consumed as juices, in salads, and combined with other dishes while cooking.