Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Persimmons

For weeks persimmons have been tempting me from the supermarket shelves (c'mon, eat us, you know you want to...) but at $2 each they seemed a little extravagant. When we were living in Japan, persimmons ("Kaki") were everywhere; common as muck. They were one of the cheapest fresh fruits available during Autumn and we ate them almost daily. On our train-jaunts about the countryside we would see the trees in people's backyards as we flashed past, heavy with the orange fruits and bright with their flamboyant autumn foliage (contrary to what we Westeners may believe about Japan, quite a lot of people do actually have backyards which fit whole entire trees in them.)

Photo by Diglloyd

Some months ago I ordered some fruit trees from Digger's, and I included a 'Fuyu' persimmon as my nod to our time in Japan. It arrived today in a box on our doorstep, along with a couple of plum trees, a strawberry, a pomegranate, and a white echinacea.
Later this afternoon we stopped at our usual fruit wholesalers, and Behold! Persimmons at $1 each! Seemed like serendipity, so naturally we bought several to celebrate the arrival of our little tree.


Japanese persimmons, Diospyros kaki, are actually originally from China. "Diospyros" means fruit of the Gods, and while I do like them both crunchy and apple-like, and soft and jellyish, I don't think I appreciate them quite as much as the Japanese who make whole hour long TV shows about them, showing the fruit as it advances through it's ripening stages. Non-astringent varieties (like Fuyu) can be eaten when still firm, but the astringent types are very high in tannins when firm so are only to be eaten by daring sorts. It's also attributed with all kinds of healing qualities, but I like it best simply for being a pretty little tree with delicious fruits. Our little tree probably won't bear fruit for several years, but I'm really looking forward to eating our kaki when it does.
(Read more at Wikipedia, if you like).

4 comments:

Jamie said...

Yummy, I had a persimmon for breakfast just today. I love the astringent types that you need to leave until they are almost terminally mushy before you can eat them, but the non-astringents are definitely easier to live with and eat.

Thanks for dropping by to my blog and leaving your kind comments. I've added your very nice blog to my little NetNewsWire blog-follower thingy on my Mac, and I look forward to reading all about how not only your persimmons go, but the rest of your garden, too.

hearts_in_asia said...

Thank you, Jamie, I appreciate your visit :)

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

I always look forward for kaki season in Japan. Once I wanted to eat kaki so much after fnished my baito, I ended cutting a chunk of my finger with the knife while peeling kaki skin. Did not get to eat my kaki but off to emegerncy. Still like them very much.

Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening! said...

I've never seen a persimmon on the shelves around here, but I've seen some shows about them (not hour-long though) and they do intrigue me. I think there are some varieties cold-hardy enough for St. Louis... I'll have to investigate...

Thanks for the post!