20081225

The Bane of my Existence

Deep orange, lustrous, slick, sometimes hard, sometimes pulpy, cloyingly sweet when ripe, astringently tannic when green.  Persimmons.

The Fuyu (above), round and firm, is the type most commonly found in American markets.  It can be eaten in bites, or sliced and used in salads or as garnish.  

The ovoid Hachiya (left) is edible when it is soft and pulpy and therefore completely unsuitable for market bins.  The texture can be off-putting, but if you freeze and eat them with a spoon (and throw in a little whiskey), it's not too bad.

I abhorred persimmons as a kid, and even now won't go out of my way to eat them, so of course I inherited not just one, but two large trees, one of each kind.  Every year, friends and family members receive both the fresh fruits, and those my father dries, so most of the fruits are given away or consumed by the birds and I never really give them much thought.  This year, for the first time, I actually noticed how pretty they actually are, and took some photos today.

Every autumn, both trees sag under the weight of the maturing fruit, and the delicate branches need to be propped up so they don't break.  As the weather cools and the leaves drop, the fruits ripen on bare limbs.  On the stark branches, the contrast of orange against the blue sky is brilliant on a sunny day.  And on a gray day, the flash of brightness can be a welcome reminder that clear skies will return.