Kojongsi persimmon of the Wanju County

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Kojongsi is the most cultivated astringent persimmon native to South Korea, especially in the mountainous area of wanju in the Jeollabuk province: Dongsang-myeonn, Gosan-myeonn and Sohyang-myeonn.

As of today there are about 500 growers, which is not many when you consider that dried persimmon production is widespread in the entire country. Each family has about 10 trees producing small, seedless fruit.
Apart from being traditionally used for its anti-oxidant properties in curing acute and chronic diseases, the persimmon is usually used in preparing Gotgam, a traditional Korean delicacy based on peeled persimmons, dried until gelatinous; the preparation methods are extremely natural. For best results, the fruit needs to be left in the open air but not directly exposed to the sun and temperature; the atmospheric conditions, the altitude and geographic characteristics of the area are fundamental: the Kojongsi persimmon tree grows along the Wanju mountain crests where the high and low temperatures between day and night increase the sugar content in the fruit. The same fruit grown in the plains does not get quite so rich and flavourful.

In order to prepare the Wanju Gotgam Kojongsi, the persimmons are gathered from mid-October to early November, before they get soft and red, then they are peeled and hung on a string to dry in a cool place.
Once dried and sliced, the persimmons are also used as a winter snack called Gam Mallaengi. Gam Sikcho is also prepared, which is largely used in the Korean kitchen: it is made by fermenting the already fallen persimmons in vinegar in jars. In Sujeonggwa, Gotgam slices are added to a cinnamon punch, making the refreshing drink sweeter and more robust; it is a popular drink for many Koreans.

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Territory

StateSouth Korea
Region

Jeollabuk-do

Other info

Categories

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Nominated by:Ryu, Seung-jin, Changpo village