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The orange colored fruit called kaki (Diospyros kaki) has born in China more than 2000 years ago and then extended in different warm areas of the world.
The best variety for export is nowadays the Spanish Rojo Brillante. This variety has a more elongated shape, a smooth peel, also edible, and maintains a firmer pulp, thanks to the CO2 treatment procedure after harvesting. The pulp, with a mushy consistence when ripe, can in fact also be sliced and eaten like an apple.
This cultivar has a high tannin content which makes the immature fruit astringent and bitter but this furry taste is reduced and finally completely disappears during the ripening process and the treatment procedures.
Because of this treatment, the “Rojo brillante” kaki has turned into an easily edible fruit which has become highly appreciated in the whole Europe and beyond. Because of this commercial success the production of “Rojo brillante” in the last decade has widely increased.
Areas of production and availability
Italy used to be the largest kaki exporting country in Europe with the “Tipo” variety, but export has diminished significantly due to the success of the Spanish Rojo Brillante.
This variety is mostly grown in the Valencia region and in Andalucía but recently produced also in Italy (with the Demeter certification) and available from the end of September till December.
The kakis are offered laid in cardboard or wooden boxes in many ranges of calibres.