Thursday, July 3, 2008


Persimmons always look like they're rotting during their short annual stay in the produce section. This probably has a lot to do with the small window of edibility during its transition from wood to mush.


The persimmon tree is part of the ebony family and is not closely related to any other commonly found fruits despite appearing to be an odd tomato/pumpkin hybrid. The skin is thicker than a tomato's and the fruit firmer when at the ripe stage but there is a similar quality to the appearance and texture of the flesh.

There is a sweet, festive, and perfumed quality to the persimmon's aroma which reminds me of autumnal celebrations and a mingling of vanilla and pumpkin scented candles. The mouthfeel is rather unique and can be quite unpleasant if the fruit isn't ripe enough. The name persimmon is said to be an adaptation from a Powhatan word (an Algonquin language) meaning "dry fruit" and this is certainly due to the paradoxically moist yet desiccating nature of the flesh. There is also a feeling of density not found in many other fruits in both the tactile and gustatory senses. The flavor is rich and sweet yet, like a well made dessert, still palatable and not overwhelmingly sugared. Like the scent, there are definite notes of vanilla and spiced pumpkin with hints of magnolia. It's hard to describe the unique flavor but imagine a tree engineered to bear fruit containing sweet potato pie filling.

persimmon cut

Despite the sometimes hefty price tag, persimmons are a nice little all-natural dessert to treat yourself to.

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