Friday, November 5, 2010

Our Persimmon Adventure

My friend tells me that she has been unable to leave a comment on my blog for a while.  Something about the form doesn’t allow her to do it.  Is anybody else having that problem?  If so, tell me on my Facebook page, or email me:  holly {at} homebodyholly {dot} com.

Not far from our house is some common land with a wooded area.  This is the third autumn that I’ve been driving by and seeing a couple of the trees with persimmons hanging on them like jewels.  I’d never had persimmon in any form, though I knew their reputation for being puckery.  But I got online and found recipes for persimmon jam, persimmon bread, persimmon pudding…it sounded like something I needed to try.

I sent Craig and the kids over to pick some.  I was envisioning a bagful of persimmons that would become yummy edibles.  The thought made me feel kind of resourceful, like a pioneer woman (no, not that PW!).

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Apparently of what was left of the fruit, most of them were too high to reach.  They brought me back 4 persimmons.  Four.

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Okay, so there would be no persimmon jam.  But we needed to at least try them.  Based on my internet research, I determined that these were probably the tomato-shaped Fuyu, that are “commonly eaten raw, often sliced and peeled…[and] have a mild, pumpkin-like flavor”.  As opposed to the acorn-shaped Hachiya that are “mouth-puckeringly tart unless absolutely, supremely ripe” (source).

Doesn’t this look more tomato- than acorn-shaped to you?

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I peeled and sliced them.  Skippy and I were the only ones who would try a bite; now we know what they mean by “astringent”.

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It dried out my mouth and left a strange cottony feeling.  Kind of like eating foam insulation, like a mouthful of sand, like sucking on a shop vac…you get the picture.

I guess they weren’t ripe or something.  Any persimmon experts out there than can tell me what went wrong?

Don’t forget Monday’s Money-Saving Tips party!  I hope to learn some thrifty tricks from you.

14 comments:

Beth Eaton said...

Thanks for trying them for me -- I'll be sure to pass right along them the next time I see some. I'm not one to try new things so I'm always amazed at people that will try anything at least once.

Susan said...

I'm not a persimmon expert, but I tried them from my farmer's market last year for the first time and love, love, love them. Here in California, the season (such as it is...here in CA!) typically runs just November thru December. So now is a tad early. The persimmons I've had so far this year are kinda small, pale orange, and firm to the point of really hard. In another couple of weeks, they'll be dark orange, softer, and super sweet. I'm wondering if "wild" persimmons are like "wild" bananas: unsuitable for eating by humans. You might want to try persimmons from another source. I hate to rain on the pioneer parade, cuz free food = yippee, but an undomesticated source might be better left to the birds and critters?

To eat, I just wash, slice the leaf/stem off and cut into pieces. I've never even peeled them. They were such a treat!

Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

Don't know about those -- but let's see if I can leave a comment...

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I can leave a comment. :) I give you two thumbs up for being willing to try the persimmons. Maybe better luck next time? ;)

Momchick1 said...

Well I am from Mitchell, IN, which is home to the anual "Persimmon Festival". From what I can tell these are the same persimmons we have here. There are different kinds. First off, they are NOT ripe until they fall from the tree. This would explain the taste. The most common use here for them is persimmon pudding. Although I'm not quite sure why we call it pudding, it's more like a brownie texture. I would be more than happy to send you the recipe. I think you will find it quite tasty. The persimmons get run through a colonder first to remove the seeds and skin. It takes a lot of persimmons to get enough pulp for a pudding. I ran through 4 ice cream buckets full to get 15 cups. It takes 2 cups for my recipe. They really are worth the work. Let me know if you want to give them another try.

Mary Joy said...

I love it! What fun! A family adventure and a great "teachable moment". That's an experience that they won't forget! Hope they are more tasty the next time you venture out...wonder if they were ripe? Love your adventurous spirit!

Blessings!

Mary Joy

Paula said...

My grandmother had a Persimmon tree way out in one of her farm fields. I remember that the fruit tasted better after a frost.

I mowed my uncle's grass at his beach house (OBX - NC)the first weekend in October and the two Persimmon trees in his yard were full of Persimmons then. I should have tasted one when I had the opportunity.

Lea said...

Persimmons are a fruit that needs to undergo something called "bletting" to be tasty. Bletting is the process of softening and sweetening up once the fruit has been frosted on, fallen from the tree (just like Momchick1 mentioned above), and actually started to break down a bit to achieve full fruit goodness. So once those babies start falling, you're in business! Wait until there's a good number on the ground and then definitely give them another try because the sweet taste is amazing. (Quince is another fruit that needs to be bletted and I have a tree full of fruit outside of my work that I am eyeballing. Can't wait to make quince jelly!)

Sarah and Jack said...

This is not a good year for persimmons here. Last year, very early, they were all falling off the trees and they were WONDERFUL. This year (maybe the drought has something to do with it), they just didn't seem to fall off (even after the frost).

I have given up on them for this year as all I have seen are ones left high on the trees and no good ones on the ground. (Which really is the only place to get the good ones, but you have to fight the deer.)

Bummer really. But then again, we didn't really have fall color this year either did we? Darn blazing hot summer and no rain!

Tracey said...

I have never seen a persimmons tree, or fruit before! They are pretty trees :) Sorry they didn't taste very good for you, maybe next year? Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a sweet comment!

Amanda said...

This just made me laugh. We had a tree in our old yard. I didn't know what it was...until we moved :) And it's probably a good thing or else I would have had the same situation I think! Have a good weekend!
werethejoneses.blogspot.com

Sherri @ Design2Shine said...

Dunno what they are suppose to taste like. Check with your friend and see what browser she is using. I find that if I am using Foxfire I can't leave comments on some blogs also. Seems some of the forms only work in IE. Hope that helps!

Amber said...

During your search for recipes, did you see anything about weather predictions from the seeds? When you split the seeds down the middle, you can see either a fork, knife, or spoon. Each has a meaning about how cold the winter will be for the year. I'm not sure how accurate the weather prediction is because I live in the South and there is hardly ever snow. I remember how much fun it was to look and see when I was a kid and hope that there would be a lot of snow that winter.

Wendy said...

It has been years since I ate a persimmon. But I remember them being very soft!