Persimmon To Speak

Persimmon To Speak

Over the weekend I drove a friend and my mom to Ramona for another batch of persimmons. My mom and I had finished the two 5-gallon bucketfuls we got at the end of October, and my friend had never been to a persimmon farm before, so we all went on Saturday to get some while they’re still in season.

We ended up buying three buckets full of persimmons (each bucket being 20-30 pounds, for a total of 240-300 persimmons) and a smaller bucket of eggplants. Then we bought three bags of avocados at a street-side stand on the way home. It was not a bad haul.

But back to the persimmons…

Most of my friends and family know about the fruit, especially as I’ve grown up in a Filipino community. One of my aunts up north has two big persimmon trees in her back yard that put out so much fruit, she sometimes brings bags of them when she visits. But sometimes I mention persimmons to someone, and I find that they’ve never had it before; they’ve never even heard of it. Then, when I get a bunch of persimmons, I share some to introduce them to the fruit, and the persimmon becomes such a hit that they end up coming with me and my mom on a trip to Ramona.

There are different kinds of persimmon, but the ones I like best are the Fuyu persimmons. They’re a bright orange color and fairly compact. They’re sweet and full of vitamin C.

I prefer them crisp, like apples, and I usually peel them entirely before eating them, but when they ripen even further, they get soft, juicy, and sometimes darker in color. They’re still really good to eat at that point, but they’re a little messier — that’s why I prefer them crisp.

Not being a mainstream kind of fruit, the persimmon is harder to find at the grocery store, so it was a rare treat for me growing up. They didn’t last long when we had them because we’d eat them straight away.

They’re in season late fall to early winter, far too short a season for my taste; I’d have them all year if I could. I’ve heard of people peeling and cutting them after a particularly big harvest, then storing them in the freezer to last them the entire year, and I’ve heard of people making pies and smoothies out of them, but I’ve only ever had them fresh and peeled, eaten plain. It’s a perfect treat all by itself.

So, one of the things I’ll be thankful for this Thanksgiving is the persimmon in general, and specifically the access I now have locally for the fruit. Grocery stores sell them now, but it’s even better getting them by the bucket at a local farm.

And if I continue eating them at the pace I’ve been having them, I may end up making a third persimmon run before the season’s out. After that, I’ll have to wait until fall next year.

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