Oh Sweet Bliss Treat of Life at Last I've Found You

The Persimmon. How? No, seriously, I’d really like to know. It befuddles me. How in the heck is it that for so long I’ve been denied even mention, much less the fruit, of the delicacy that is a Persimmon?

Good grief, these things are fantastic! I was talking landscaping with a friend who insisted I stop by and see his yard. Touring through, he picked some from a tree and we took them inside to peel and eat. Dubious at first, the look of pure enjoyment of my face as I bit in caused him to laugh, then beam with pride. Rightfully so, if you ask me.

What can be done with them… jellies? Pies? Juice coolers? I’ve brought one to work each day now (he sent me home with a sackfull). They’re a marvelous midday snack but, deprived for so long, I want to make sure I’m not missing out on anything else.

One last question… how many can I eat before I risk OD?

Be careful. AIUI, there are two basic types of persimmon you can find in the store. Only one of them is the kiind that will give you the experience you had, while the other has to be windowsill-ripened for a significant period. Otherwise you get a bite of fruit that bites back, that’s how mouth-puckeringly sour it is. And not the good kind of sour, either.

I hope somebody will come in to explain exactly how to choose the right one (and how to ripen the other one).

Good to know as that sounds decidely unpleasant. Checking online, I see there are astringent and non-astringent varieties. It’s the non- , commonly labeled fuyu, that we want to stick with. More squatty and tomato-shaped as opposed to heart.

Still, these are so good and apparently easy to grow that I’m surprised one doesn’t see them more often, either fresh or processed into something. Sweet like a pear with more dense fruit, you’d think they’d be more ubiquitous in fruit cocktails and salads, juices, etc. I find their omission and lack of popularity surprising.

We had a persimmon tree in our yard when I was a kid. (No idea what variety.) They were very astringent until after the first frost, at which point they became tasty.

(However this site describes that as a common misconception, so maybe we were waiting too late.)

Persimmons are WONDERFUL. I grew up eating my grandma’s persimmon pudding, which looks just like dog poo, but tastes like heaven. I’ll try to remember to bring in her recipe for you tomorrow - it’s one of my favorite foods in the whole world.

She makes almost-as-yummy cookies out of them, too.

Again, it sounds like you want to be really careful you eat the right one.

The recipe would be great. Thanks!

I left a beautiful, squatty, tomato-shaped persimmon on my desk yesterday and of the dozen or so people that stopped by, one knew what it was. I believe I’ll plant some trees so I can share some of these too.

Oh, yum, I wanna try the pudding too!
And now I have another idea for my infused vodka jag!

My mom makes excellent persimmon pudding as well. We used to go out in the woods hunting for persimmon trees in the fall, but now we go to the local apple orchard and get it already pulped. You might try that – the pulp freezes wonderfully and you can make pudding whenever you want.

There are two, arguably three main kinds.

Fuyu are the flat ones. I always remember because F is for 1) fuyu and 2) flat. They are crisp and nice to eat peeled. Also good with something salty as a contrast, a la pears and blue cheese.

Hachiya are the pointy ones. They are the ones you want to wait until they are very gooshy to eat, best done with a spoon. A hint: set them upside down to do so, so they sit on the stem end. That way seems to make less of a mess.

There is also a new world variety but my understanding is that it is very much a backyard fruit as it is quite fragile so not really marketable.

Is the taste like a pear? How does it com-pare to other fruits?

It’s a taste all its own. Kind of that grainy pear consistency, though.

Also, grandma says that you can cut them open and predict what kind of winter you’ll have. If the seed part looks like a spoon, you’ll have lots of snow. If it looks like a knife, you’ll have cutting cold.

And I forgot the recipe. Sorry! I’ll get it tomorrow!

The only times I’ve had it is when I go to The Pines, a regional buffet restaurant, and they have persimmon pudding. I’d go there for that & the fried fish alone, but they have lots of great food.

Also, a former co-worker would occasionally bring a dish in for me when she made it for her dad. She herself couldn’t stand the stuff!

You think persimmon’s good?

Wait until you try a mangosteen.

After I’m dead
Tell them I was a persimmon eater
who loved haiku

Fuyu persimmons do very well in savory dishes if you like sweet-salty. I like how they work with olive oil, either in a simple salad, or mixed with couscous.

As for ODing, they are very high in Vitamin A. You probably shouldn’t eat a whole treeful at once.

I have seen them in the stores - but wasn’t sure how to eat them?

So you peel and eat - like an orange?

Also, pomegranates? Do you eat and swallow the seeds, or do you just chew on them to get the sweet stuff off and then spit out the seed?

how do you eat that?

Dammit - i wish my family was more than the basic McIntosh Apples kind of family - my mom was shocked when I told her about the different kinds of apples…?

You carefully cut the leathery exocarp (word courtesy that Wikipedia article) with a sharp knife and pop out the white flesh. It is without a doubt the finest fruit I’ve ever tasted - like a mango but a whole lot tastier. A lot of effort to eat, but well worth it. (Sorry for the hijack; I only mentioned it because externally it looks like a persimmon.)

Psst. “Loved” is only one syllable.

When I’m dead, tell them
I loved to eat persimmon
And adored haiku.

She was quoting a translation of a Japanese haiku.

Also, many people think even a haiku composed in English need not follow the 5-7-5 structure. What’s important is really a 2-3-2 structure of accented syllables (if I remember correctly).

…and I just got whooshed didn’t I.