Friday, November 09, 2007

The package has arrived!

Once a year I get a very special shipment.
It usually arrives after a call saying it is on its way.
I check the front porch several times a day while I wait for the delivery.
I dare say I am the only one in blogdom that gets this kind of shipment.
Inside the brown shipping box is loads of packing, carefully layered to protect this year's glorious treasure.
I just LOVE persimmons!
I love how they look on my in-laws tree, bright shiny orbs hanging amidst the large golden leaves and charcoal grey branches.

(Picture above is from the web. It isn't theirs, but theirs looks like it, only more robust.)
I love how orange the fruit is!

I love how persimmons taste!
I'm rather glad that I am the only person in the family who does love the taste.
Well, actually, my dad loves them too. He was the one who introduced me to the joys of eating a ripe persimmon years and years ago, when I was a child.
We used to delight in finding one or two in the market, waiting for the persimmon to "turn," or ripen, and then we would pull off the little green leafy crown, scoop out the syrupy inners, pour on a dash of milk and sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar and dig in.
Or not so yum if we miscalculated the ripeness.
There is hardly anything in the world more chalky bitter than an unripe persimmon.
A chalk like coating forms on the tongue and it seems to take forever to lose the alkaline flavor.
Unripe persimmons taste a bit like aspirin.
Yeah, now you know what I mean.

A ripe American persimmon takes on the translucent shade of a very very ripe red tomato.
It feels totally squishy, like if you were to press on it too hard it would burst and spew out a jammy filling.
The more pale orange persimmon on your right is unripe. It feels as hard as a bowling give at all. It's color is opaque; it may even look like it is slightly dusted, like an unripe plum or grape can be.
A perfectly ripe persimmon has segments inside, which look to me like how a jelly bean looks after you have sucked off the sugar coating. (Oh come on, you know you used to do that sometimes as a kid...admit it.)
The persimmon is so sweet it really doesn't need powdered sugar. It is just one way of dressing it up. Milk is an option too; but really they taste just great right out of the skin.
Or at least I think so.
B. eats a persimmon each year just to see if perhaps this year he will like them. He never does; the texture doesn't appeal to him.
He likes to eat pears rock hard, bananas bordering on "crisp" and plums while they are still crunchy.
My in-laws don't care for persimmons either. My dad and I are just pleased as punch to take the crop off their hands.
More fun for us!
We do so much appreciate Barbara and Hal heading out with a ladder and pruning tools each year to pick the crop for us to enjoy.
And boy do we enjoy!
I enjoy having the persimmons out on the counter, making cookies and bread with them, and just eating them right out of the skin.
I thought once I left California my persimmon eating days were over. Thank heaven for Fed Ex and diligent in-laws!
Thanks guys!
You're the best!
(Added bonus material: There are two kinds of persimmons, the American or Hachiya, which is a pointed oval shape like my in-laws have, and they require ripening to squishy to taste good.

The other kind is called a Fuyu. A drawing from the web of a fuyu is above.
Fuyu persimmons are shaped like a fat pin cushion, and they are ripe and tasty while they are hard and opaque lighter orange.
You eat them when they are hard, crispy apple hard.
They taste like a sweet and slightly spicy apple.
If you get a chance, give a fuyu a try. At least one, at least once.
If you do, please let me know what you think.
Even if persimmons are not your cup of tea, you might want to use them piled up in a bowl for an unusual decoration. Once they ripen, they'll be great for including in a bread recipe that I will be posting in a few weeks.


Lovella said...

My mouth is watering. For some reason I keep thinking gooseberry. I'll go check our local stores and I'll certainly buy one or two to try.

Enjoy them all and I do look forward to the accompanying recipe.

running wildly said...

I have never had a persimmons. After this.....I'll love to swing by for a little nibble. ;)

Anonymous said...

My daughters and I ate our first persimmons last year after reading your '06 persimmon post. We loved them and thank you for introducing them to us. They had long been one of the "mystery foods" in the produce section of the grocery. Now, if we could just find a personal supplier.............


Becky said...

I have never tried a persimmon. Your post makes me want to seek one out but I feel rather cautious with the warning you gave about the unripe ones. Can't imagine anything much worse than an asprin tasting fruit. I'll keep my eyes open!

Sara said...

Persimmons are my most favorite color - that vivid red orange, or orange red, and I love how they contrast with the bright green leaves. Them and nasturtiums! The persimmons always looked so good to me, but I must have tasted an unripe one, cause I thought they were awful! I only tried once, maybe I'll try again.
I just took a photo of a persimmon tree the other day near the Trader Joe's market, it was so beautiful peeking over the wooden fence--loaded with colorful fruit. Maybe I'll help myself to one next time we are there!

Sara said...

Just whizzing by to say I am taking note of the packing and shipping materials, with avocados in mind for the future!