Friday, November 03, 2006

Yummy Persimmons!

Beth and I always like to buy some kind of funky fruit or vegetable when we go to the supermarket. The other day Beth picked up some persimmons. I hadn't had one of these since I was a kid. There are two major varieties of persimmon that you'll find in the store. Fuyu persimmons are tomato-shaped with firm flesh and can be eaten when still somewhat unripe. Hachiya persimmons, on the other hand, are acorn-shaped, with soft, puree-like flesh, and can only be eaten when they're at the peak of ripeness and soft to the touch. If you eat them before they are ripe, the high tannin content will make it an unpleasant experience! I've only had the Hachiya variety. To me, it tastes like a custardy, stringy, slightly sweeter mango.

Here is my persimmon before being cut up.

Here it is all cut up and ready to eat. It was devoured shortly after this photo was taken.

There's also an American Persimmon tree, native to the eastern and central US. It produces fruit just like the ones you can buy in the store, but I couldn't find any info on why they don't sell them anywhere. This tree is a wonderful, mid-size native tree providing food for wildlife such as mockingbirds, turkeys, deer, fox, and raccoons. My favorite benefit of this tree is that it's the larval foodplant of two spectacular creatures: the Luna Moth and the Regal Moth.

Left: Regal Moth, Right: Luna Moth

There is a lovely Persimmon tree along the trail of the South Cape May Meadows. It was fruiting last week when I was there. Perhaps there's a place in your yard for a Persimmon tree. You can get some delicious fruit and perhaps attract some outstanding wildlife.


Susan Gets Native said...

I haven't had one in forever! The one I tried was big and very juicy. I wonder what kind it was.
A persimmon tree...that's an interesting idea for the yard.

birdchick said...

We used to have persimmon trees in my neighborhood in Indianapolis. I remember they made a mess on the cars but my mom always told me about a persimmon pudding recipe that is supposed to be just tasty. I wish I could remember it.

Patrick Belardo said...

Chick, you have to get us that recipe!

Susan, let me know if you decide to plant one. It'd be interesting to hear how it grows.

Beth said...

I didn't particularly like the taste of the persimmon but maybe it wasn't ripe enough. I'll get another one sometime and try again. Nice post, Hon.