Why Is This Fruit So Controversial?

persimmon (2)

Love it. Hate it. Tons of great ideas how to use it. Haven’t a clue what to do with it. It’s really wonderful. It’s weird, so take it away from me.

Persimmon. Even the name is odd. Sometimes, in between seasons, I forget the name and call it a pomegranate. It’s nothing like a pomegranate, though. I know the difference between the two, and the only logical reason to mix up the names is because they both start with “p” and they seem to be around the same time of year.

I’ve decided it is most like an apple. It’s a strange apple that I want to like, but I’m not sure I do. It’s a fruit that I’ve grown to enjoy, but still have a lot of questions about.

Do you want to start up a conversation when nobody is talking? Bring a persimmon with you. Before you know it, you’ll be in the middle of the great persimmon conundrum. Does anybody really know what to do with it? And if someone does know what to do with it, do you want to have anything to do with them?

You see, I didn’t grow up with persimmons. The first time I saw one, I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was a type of orange. I sliced it and tried to eat it, but it didn’t taste very good. A few years later, I had a neighbor leave me an entire bag, along with an explanation about how persimmons make wonderful pies (is that possible?) It struck me as a bit of salesmanship, and anytime a neighbor comes bearing quantities that take up an entire grocery bag, there is sure to be some catch. The catch in this case was quickly disclosed with a sly, “if you ever have any extra lemons . . .”

In the many years that have passed since I had my first persimmon, I’ve learned little more about the controversial fruit. I’ve learned that there are two common types. One type tastes similar to apple and is tasty eaten raw, another kind does not taste like apple and seems to give persimmons their shady reputation.

I have no persimmon recipes to offer, but I noticed that Martha Stewart does. This one will be sliced and eaten, and is sure to be discussed and debated in future persimmon conversation.


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