Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fearful Symmetry

I have spent almost 54 years not thinking about persimmons.

That's strange, you think to yourself, I think about persimmons quite often.
Forgive me for saying that you are full of:

A few weeks ago there was a lot of buzz on the Prepare Now Yahoo group about an order of persimmons that was coming to town. I resisted ordering because, don't you know, I have never tasted a persimmon and ergo find it hard to get excited about ordering a 20 pound box of them.
Nevertheless, I must have been pondering the subject in my subconscious because some nights later I had a very vivid dream about the magical fruit. I can still recall the texture of the skin as I peeled the fruit and the smoothness of the inner flesh as I sliced it. The taste was divine, sweet and creamy without being cloying at all.
I awoke in the midst of the dream and thought to myself that perhaps (!) I might actually like persimmons. If you know me at all, you know that I am somewhat of a picky eater. Certain things will never cross my lips because of their smell. I have tried, darn it, to eat salad ingredients but they just taste like grass. Suffice it to say that I am not an adventurous eater. I have attributed that sad state to the fact that I am a bit of a super-taster, which, for you doubters, is an actual scientific state of being. Really. It is.

The persimmon tree species diospyros belongs to the ebony wood family. Diospyros means "the fruit of the Gods" in ancient Greek. Persimmons are high in nutrients but eating too many unripe fruit can cause bezoars that require surgery in most cases. What is a bezoar, you ask? Think hairballs in cats. Same kind of mass in the digestive tract. Yummy! Moral of the story, make sure your persimmons are ripe before you ingest.

So, on with the persimmon story.
Last Saturday my friend Barb and I decided to walk at the local university's track, which is close to her house. It is one of those nice soft tracks and my legs have been hurting lately so we thought we'd give me a break. It was a cold, damp, morning, but we had a great time catching up on all our news and NOT talking about persimmons.
As I was leaving to return home she gave me...



  1. Thanks for the post on an obscure fruit. My friendly tip for you, don't use a species name without giving the genus. Linne instituted binomial nomenclature, not mononomial. I hope this was more uplifting than my previous, but equally constructive, criticisms. I really did try. Have a jolly day.

  2. Okay, for the scientifically picky amongst us, the genus is diospyros and persimmons are species of this genus. I think. Better, Jon? Unfortunately for my son Jon, most of us don't know any better and don't care either! Love you Jon!

  3. No, no, no. Genus names are always capitalized. If you don't have a species name then say Diospyros sp., or Diospyros spp. for referencing multiple species of the genus. Unfortunately we can't do italics in the comments. Thanks and you are welcome.

  4. For saying you're a picky eater, you're the only person I know that eats bacon fat and puposely cooks the bacon rubbery so that you can eat the fat... yuck!!!

  5. I have never tasted a persimmon. I thought it was a berry! I'm gonna get me some tomorrow if I can find them.

  6. BTW after reading these comments I do believe Jon and I would get on famously. If/when I fly out there, you'd better have Jon and persimmons aplenty.

  7. Jenny, Google "persimmon recipes". I haven't cooked with yet, but I'm drooling and planning.

  8. Well Sue, did you like them?

  9. I like them in small doses, especially in a fruit salad. But I love how they look, all peeled and sliced and sitting expectantly on a plate.